Preparing Yourself Mentally as an International Student

While college can be a challenging time for any student, students coming to the US from other countries and cultures very often face specific challenges that US-born students do not. These challenges may include adjusting to a new academic and social environment, culture shock or language barriers, finding companions of one's own religion, language, or culture, homesickness, or encounters with prejudice. International students may also experience pressure from family members to succeed, as well as stress from issues related to navigating the paperwork and requirements necessary for studying in the US. Additionally, international students experience loss of their immediate access to their primary support system, since they have physically moved away from it.

All of these factors combine to make international students particularly vulnerable to mental health problems such as depression or anxiety. Students who suffer from these disorders often experience adverse effects on their academic and social lives, which makes them more likely to drop out of school or achieve lower grades. This means that it is particularly important for you to care for your mental health while you are studying in the US.

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Return to our Mental Health section for more information and help