Most international students who are new to the U.S. higher education face some challenges in the beginning. Higher education is a challenging experience for all students where this transition may present many difficulties. As a current graduate student who comes from Syria, I had in my fist year some initial concerns that were based on the fear of the unknown. As time goes by, I got used to this transition in my academic and personal life and started to enjoy my new journey.
Many international graduate students do know what to expect in graduate school. Adjustment challenges are one of the most common challenges that international students may face, where everything is different to them. Students need to adapt to live in new cities and communities that present new cultures.
Another challenge is the English language challenge. International students have to learn the language of instruction in a short period of time to be able to start their program. They also have to adjust themselves to different set of expectations, where not everything may go as it is planned to.
Emotions play a major role in the scope of this topic. Some international students may get afraid from people’s judgment, so they look shy and not social in the beginning. Students have to draw their own conclusions to know what what to expect for the program or the degree. Some students may also feel guilty for leaving families behind in the home country. Students have to cope with these different feelings that they may experience so that they do not let them negatively impact on their life. I agree that international students may face many challenges when starting a graduate school when study broad, however, I believe that many international graduate students succeeded in graduate school and have shown a great performance.