International Educator - November/December 2012 - 29

Loneliness and Adjustment
When international students and scholars come to the United States to study, they face many overwhelming challenges, from meeting new people and becoming acclimated to the area to finding a place to live, buying a car, or navigating public transportation systems. That’s why it’s important for campuses to encourage international students and scholars to build new social networks and offer programs and services that support those efforts. When PhD candidate Vien Cao, from Vietnam, enrolled at Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale in 2007, she was excited about exploring her new community and making American friends. Having a previous study abroad experience in the United Kingdom, Cao knew that requesting a host family was a great way to become familiar with a new place and make connections—so she signed up for SIU’s Host Family program. “It can be good for students [to have a host family] because first, it can be good for their English and second, they’ll get to know the culture and make good relationships that may last a long time,” says Cao. “The relationship with my host family helps me enjoy my time in the U.S. more, keeps me busy, and gives me an insight into the life of an American family. It opens my horizons.” Cao’s host parents, Bruce and Louise Williams, have become like second parents to her. Mr. Williams even escorted her down the aisle during her wedding in August 2009, since her own parents were unable to travel from Vietnam for the occasion. “My host family is just like my own family—I often go to their house when I have time, and when they happen to be in town they pick me up and we go somewhere to eat or something,” says Cao, who gave birth to her first child in the United States two years ago and is expecting a second child in November. “It doesn’t mean that the host family replaces your real family, but it’s someone who cares for you and makes time for you.” For many international students and scholars, understanding and speaking English can be the greatest struggle during their stay in the United States. Even those who are proficient in English likely will have difficulty understanding the regional colloquialisms and slang their American peers use in everyday conversations. Providing settings to help improve their language skills may boost their confidence while helping them develop new friendships. At Rice University in Houston, the Office of International Students and Scholars sponsors free, weekly English and culture classes taught by volunteers from the local community. The classes offered include English Idioms and Slang, Beginning English Conversation, Advanced/Intermediate conversation, and Grammar and Pronunciation. Family members of the international graduate students also are invited to take the classes. “It’s a place for the students to land, it’s a place for them to make friends, and they can practice English in a fun, nonthreatening envi-

ronment,” says Adria Baker, associate vice provost for international education and executive director of the Office of International Students and Scholars. “The goal for the teachers is hospitality. If the students learn language along with it, that’s great, but it’s more about building bridges and practicing English in a stress-free area.” Catherine Spain of Houston has been one of Rice’s volunteer English teachers for 18 years. Spain, a Spanish teacher who grew up in Peru and Colombia, understands the desire to make connections with people and places in a new, unfamiliar community—and the apprehension that goes along with that. “Having grownup overseas, I know firsthand how helpful it is to have teachers and friends who can put you at ease while you tackle the job of learning their language and give you a window into their

Students who have more meaningful contacts with people from the host culture are usually more satisfied with their adjustment experience, and tend to be more academically successful.
culture and values,” Spain says. “For me, teaching as a volunteer at Rice has been a wonderful opportunity to now fill that role for others. At the same time, I’ve been able to learn from students, scholars, and their spouses about their families and cultures, as well as their studies and experiences as newcomers to a university campus in our country. I have especially enjoyed being able to offer these newcomers glimpses into United States culture and point them to interesting possibilities that may help them make the most of their stay.” It’s also important for international offices to consider the adjustment of foreign students’ spouses and families, who also are grappling with an unfamiliar culture and language. Immigration restrictions often prohibit spouses from holding jobs, though many of them were working professionals in their home country. This role reversal may lead to boredom and depression. Many colleges and universities sponsor special activities for spouses, including orientation sessions, social networking groups, and community outings. “Supporting the spouse is critical, and it’s a way of indirectly supporting the student,” says DiMaria. “If you have a graduate student who’s in a chemistry lab all day, concerned about a thesis or dissertation or coursework, only to go home and find a spouse who’s going stir crazy, then that student has a hard time focusing when he or she gets back home. So assisting the spouse to be more satisfied, then we may reduce the amount of stress the student may feel.”

N O V + D E C . 12 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

29



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - November/December 2012

International Educator - November/December 2012
Table of Contents
From the Editors
In Brief
Voices
Transforming Lives
Local Connections
Juniata College Faculty Discovered the World and Students Followed
Partnering
Forum
In Focus
Health and Insurance Supplement
International Educator - November/December 2012 - International Educator - November/December 2012
International Educator - November/December 2012 - Cover2
International Educator - November/December 2012 - Table of Contents
International Educator - November/December 2012 - From the Editors
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 3
International Educator - November/December 2012 - In Brief
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 5
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 6
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 7
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 8
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 9
International Educator - November/December 2012 - Voices
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 11
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 12
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 13
International Educator - November/December 2012 - Transforming Lives
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 15
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 16
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 17
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 18
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 19
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 20
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 21
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 22
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 23
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 24
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 25
International Educator - November/December 2012 - Local Connections
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 27
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 28
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 29
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 30
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 31
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 32
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 33
International Educator - November/December 2012 - Juniata College Faculty Discovered the World and Students Followed
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 35
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 36
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 37
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 38
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 39
International Educator - November/December 2012 - Partnering
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 41
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 42
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 43
International Educator - November/December 2012 - Forum
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 45
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 46
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 47
International Educator - November/December 2012 - In Focus
International Educator - November/December 2012 - Cover3
International Educator - November/December 2012 - Cover4
International Educator - November/December 2012 - Health and Insurance Supplement
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-Cover2
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-1
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-2
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-3
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-4
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-5
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-6
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-7
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-8
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-9
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-10
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-11
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-12
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-13
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-14
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-15
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-16
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-17
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-18
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-19
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-20
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-Cover3
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20191112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20181112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180708gfclone
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180102_supp
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20171112_supp
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20171112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_2070910_supp
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20161112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160304_fr
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20151112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20141112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20131112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20121112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20111112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110102
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com