The Basics

“Advise international students just as you would American students except…”

International students encounter academic and personal difficulties while pursuing their studies just like domestic students. However, in addition to the traditional issues faced by domestic students, international students are often adjusting to additional circumstances:

  • Adjusting to a new academic system
  • Learning in a second language
  • Experiencing culture shock
  • Learning to live far away from support systems
  • Learning new business practices

Major Immigration Concerns

  • Full-time enrollment is legally required:
    • 12 hours for undergraduate students
    • 9 hours for graduate students
  • Employment is limited to 20 hours per week (except for official school holidays) and limited to on-campus employers.
  • Non-traditional classes will only count toward 3 of their required enrollment hours per semester. Non-traditional courses are online courses with an INET code. All other instructional methods such as blended, iCourses, and those with interactive video do not fall under this non-traditional category.

Cultural Differences

International students come from a variety of cultural backgrounds that sometimes allow for cultural mishaps on both the part of the student and the advisor. The following examples illustrate this dynamic:

Different student negotiation tactics:

  • “No means I should ask someone else.”
  • “No means I should ask again.”
  • “No means I should ask your supervisor.”

Different expectations of the advisor:

  • “My advisor should help me negotiate my apartment lease.”
  • “My advisor should help me maneuver the immigration system.”