The experience of studying abroad is usually both exciting and stressful. International students face the challenge of addressing academic and personal concerns in an environment that is new and unfamiliar. This is why the counselors at the Counseling Center want to offer their assistance while you study at William & Mary.
What are the Most Common Concerns Experienced by International Students?
Although international students encounter some of the same academic and personal concerns as their American counterparts they may also experience a number of unique challenges:
- Separating from family and friends
- Learning to deal with new customs, behaviors, and attitudes
- Using a foreign language
- Adjusting to a new educational system
- Relating to peers, roommates, and professors
- Adjusting to changes in diet
- Finding that financial funding is not sufficient
- Finding that the academic program does not address the student's needs or the needs of his or her country of origin
- Finding that some individuals do not understand people from other cultures
Overall, these concerns can make the process of adaptation to a new culture and a new academic environment very difficult and stressful. As a consequence, you may feel:
How can the Counseling Center help?
The counselors at the Counseling Center are sensitive to the needs of international students. They are interested in students' personal and professional growth.
The counselors provide a safe atmosphere for students to address questions and concerns and to help them explore possible ways to resolve or cope with difficulties they have encountered.
Counselors are aware that it is difficult at first to discuss personal problems with a stranger. Generally, these difficulties diminish once students start to trust their counselor.
Services are free to all students and all conversations are confidential. The Counseling Center does not release information about a student without that student's written permission, except in the case of imminent danger to self or others, child/dependent abuse, court order, or where otherwise required by law. Notations of counseling are not part of a student's university record.
What Services does the Counseling Center offer?
- Personal counseling
- Group counseling
- Consultations regarding friends, roommates, family members
Presentations to groups are available to provide information on specific issues such as study skills, stress management, etc.
We also offer a support group for international students where participants can talk about their adjustment to being a student at William & Mary.