Due to an error, this article was not posted until August 11, 2017. It had originally been created for November 16, 2017.

By Tashfia Parvez

There are more than a million international students studying in the United States, according to The Hechinger Report. However, the struggles they may face trying to fit into a new culture while also balancing their education is a significant but understudied problem.

Christopher Slaten, an assistant professor in the Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology at MU, decided to conduct a research study to examine this issue.

He interviewed 11 Asian international students. He found the two biggest challenges these students face were trying to adjust to the culture shock and finding American friends with similar interests.

“If international students have the opportunity to feel like they can find individuals that share similar experiences both domestic and international, they are more likely to stay at the university and have less distress and perform better in school,” Slaten said.

Slaten thinks future studies should look at how much opportunities different universities are creating to make spaces for these two groups of students to interact.

Slaten also said American students can take steps toward helping international students.

“If we are under the assumption that a domestic friend is interested in making friends with an international student, then the American students need to be more empathetic towards another student’s experience and learn more about them,” Slaten said.

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