The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world as we know it, with travel restrictions, social distancing, and much more. This put a dampener for foreign students attending university in countries across the globe. The disruption due to the pandemic had far-reaching effects and international students experience has transformed drastically. With many countries reopening their borders for university students, higher education is no longer at a standstill.
Students stuck in their home country have been looking forward to easing travel restrictions so they can begin in-person learning. The complete university experience involves students attending university on campuses and meeting other students from all over the world.
International Students Yearning for the University Life
International students experience has to be enriching as many have applied with high expectations. Universities must implement student ambassador programs and peer learning initiatives that ensure international students have the opportunity to experience university. Incoming students should have proper assistance and guidance from the university as many don’t have prior experience in an international environment.
How Universities Can Enhance International Students’ Experience
Universities must be prepared to answer all questions and accommodate international students in their campuses. Universities can offer to fund their quarantine expenses or have prior provisions for all international students. Assistance in terms of housing, social experiences, teaching delivery, academia, country-specific travel information, etc. must be provided to students.
Universities can even have students volunteering to answer questions via Zoom meetings or hold online webinar sessions. University websites must be updated regularly with the latest travel and vaccination information so international students can experience living abroad. They can also set up mental health or counselling services that will engender a sense of belonging and alleviate homesickness.
Incoming international students experience is also strongly influenced by what current students have to say about the university. Universities can hold orientation week at the start of every semester to allow students to make friends and be comfortable on campus.