There has always been questions about international students or foreign students. The problems they face, criterias or requirements needed in becoming one and the solutions to some problems encountered by these students
This post is going to address all of that and also inform you on the statistics of some countries where the rate of international students are on the increase
It will also give you information on studying in the US, UK and China. All you need to know about these countries.
Table of Contents
Definition of International Students: According to OECD, foreign students or international students are, “those who receive their prior education in another country and are not residents of their current country of study”. Using this definition, an international student are those students coming from another country with the aim of obtaining and educational degree in a country.
We’d take a look at the challenges international students face and their solutions below.
Challenges International Students Face
Traveling to a foreign country could be frightening especially when you have never been to that country before.
So what would you do if you are preparing to study abroad, what are the challenges you might encounter as an intending international student.
5 major challenges would be addressed and the solutions to these would also be provided.
- Feeling Homesick
- Cultural Shock
- Problems Integrating
1. Feeling Homesick
Leaving home to a distant country has it’s pecks, the excitement that follows finding yourself in a new environment with a lot of people you haven’t seen in your life but there’s always this feeling that erupts after staying away for a while.
Studying international isn’t a few months program but could take years before returning home and because of the long absent from home, one could become homesick. Missing home, which includes family, friends and partners you left behind.
Solutions to Feeling Homesick
- Communicate often to your loved ones. You could use the social media, video call and always check up on them. Dropping texts too could help a whole lot.
- Most universities offer professional counseling services, make use of them. They help you get occupied with social activities and also connect you with people who would make your stay fun filled
Students traveling from a country that speaks one language and moving over to another with multiple languages could get discouraged, confused, and could develop a low self esteem keeping to his/herself most of the time because of the inability to express.
Treats such as difference in culture, local slangs and accents affects these students and it could take some time before they would adapt and learn the language of that country.
So what should these students do?
Solution to Language
The challenge of language is a problem most universities try to tackle leading to the operations of language support services.
You could research about this service providers in your school and get their services. They help in teaching and guiding you through the process
3. Cultural shock
Cultural shock is the physical or emotional discomfort people may suffer when they move to live in a country with a lof of differences from their country of origin. This shock can come in various ways including :
- Sadness or loneliness
- Aches and pains
- Mood changes or depression
- Loss of identity
- Feeling of paranoia
Solution to Cultural Shock
The solution to this problem is to know the country where you intend studying in. Know their culture and differences between yours and theirs and prepare yourself to adapt to changes that comes with a new environment
This is a major problem most students face, in as much as studying in most countries like the UK are expensive.
Also the lifestyle you would have to adjust to, could also be expensive. Changing your wardrobe and getting groceries in order to survive in that country could use a lot of funds.
So what should these foreign students do?
Solutions to Finance
- Getting part time jobs: luckily most countries support this type of system especially for international students. This would help them pay most of their bills and also take care of themselves
- Find a university job shop in your choosen university. There should be one around that would help you get jobs around the school environment and also get paid for your services.
- Social media comes in handy when searching for jobs. You could see one around your locale and apply online too.
- Countries like the UK have a student discount system where you enroll and get discounts on all your purchases. Such discount system is the NUS card usage. Purchasing this card would give you a lot of discounts when paying for your megabus ride, online shopping and so on.
5. Problems Integrating
Socializing with strangers especially people with different cultural and academic backgrounds could be problematic. Some students live within their cultural group, looking for people with same beliefs, ideologies and culture.
Solutions to Problems Integrating
Foreign students should join student clubs, make contact with different people irrespective of their backgrounds. Also get in touch with the university Students Union for help to get started.
Factors that Affect the Flow of International Students
The mobility of foreign students are affected by various factors which are:
- The economy of the destination country
- The educational system and structure,
- Political influence
- Visa and immigration policies of the destination country
These factors play a major role in the rate at which students from other countries migrate to a country.
Statistics of International Students
In 2020, there was a competition among nations to attract international students in the context of Covid 19 and the US presidential elections. A pre-election survey poll indicated that a quarter of prospective international students were more likely to study in the US if Biden is elected as the president of the US.
Australia has by far the highest ratio of international students per head of population in the world by large margin, with international students represented on average 26.7% of the student bodies of Australian universities.
The greatest percentage increases of the number of foreign students have occurred in New Zealand, Korea, the Netherlands, Greece, Spain, Italy and Ireland.
It is projected that the number of international students will reach 6.9 million by 2030, an increase of 51%, or 2.3 million students, from 2015.
As of 2020, the top 9 countries for foreign students enrollment are:
- US – 1,075,496
- UK – 551,495
- Canada – 503,270
- Australia – 463,643
- France – 358,000
- Russia – 353,331
- Germany – 302,157
- Japan – 228,403
- Spain – 125,675
China would have been among viewing they had a total of 500,000 students in 2019 but due to the effects of Covid 19, they had no foreign student.
In 2020, the US and the UK got a total of 40% of international students.
Requirements to Become an International Student
Studying in a foreign country comes with it’s requirements and they vary from country to country but below are the general requirements for international students
- Language tests: English speaking countries adopt this requirement to test your communication skills and also your proficiency in English language
- Student visa: this varies because of the course of study and the type of school. These determine the type of visa that’s going to be issues to the student, either a F-1 visa or a M-1 visa.
Economic Impact of International Students
The availability of foreign students in a country boosts its economy in a large scale and also create employment opportunities.
In the US, their economy grew a 12% increase in dollars and a 8.5% job support. Statistics shows that the US economy got a total of $26.8 billion and 340,000 jobs creation due to the presence of international students.
You can also checkout the cheapest countries for international students
International Students in the UK
In 2018/2019, there were 485,645 international students studying in the UK, 143,025 of these were from the EU and 342,620 were non-EU. The total international student number increased by 5% between 2011/12 and 2017/18.
Culturally, the UK is very diverse and welcoming of people from all around the world and this shows in the number of students coming in from other countries of the world
6 tips for international students moving to the UK
- Plan your funding
- Research scholarships
- Organize your student visa
- Prepare for British life
- Sort your student accommodation
- Makes sure you’ve got health insurance
Remember we talked about getting part time jobs while studying? Well I the UK, the average part time weekly wage is £112.20 a week but the top 15% students take home more than £200. Students in the east of England earn the most, at £131.70 per week on average.
On average students need between $1,300 – $1,600 for living expenses per month of study (that’s depending on if you decide to live inside or outside London).
International Students in the USA
The US has the world largest international student population, with more than 1 million to broaden and get more enlightened educationally.
Nearly 5% of all students enrolled in the higher-level education in the USA are international students and the numbers still keeps increasing. The international education in the US has grown from when it started in the mid 1950’s with only 35,000 students.
International Students in China
China has a total of 500,000 per year of international students and their quality of education is one of the best with high standard facilities.
100 higher education institutions presently in top rankings created by Times Higher Education and Top University.
Is living in China expensive you may ask. Below are some layouts on the living conditions in China
Tuition fees are from $2,500 and $10,000 per year
Their living expenses so depends on the environment you find yourself. In Beijing, an average of $1000 to $1200 per month. Shanghai, an average of $850 – $1200 per month.
Accommodation is not also much. Student residence halls are on an average of $150 – $400 per month. Renting a flat are $300 – $1,000 per month for a on bedroom apartment depending on the city and location of the apartment. Living with a Chinese family are between $350 and $550 per month. The cost of food is from 1 to 7 USD.
The Effect of Covid-19 on International Students in China
In 2020, at the emergence of the corona virus pandemic which emanated from Wuhan, China affecting the world economy and almost crippling most country’s economy. It affected all the sectors of the world’s industry, starting from the aviation industry to the educational sector.
The Chinese educational sector could not record any international students last year, 2020 due to the ongoing pandemic, thereby losing $20 million from this sector alone.
In comparison to 2019, where they recorded a total of 500,000 international students making China the fourth country with the highest international students gotten.
With the unlocking of the economy gradually and the opening up of some states in China, it is estimated that the rate of international students would increase by 10%
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