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Additional Considerations

When advising international students, academic advisors should consider that international students may be facing a variety of issues that could affect their academic progress.

The Honor Code

The concept of plagiarism may be new to some international students. They may be from cultures where citing one's source is not a common practice. Additional support in how to cite a support could be beneficial to an international student. International students may need clear instructions on matters such as when an assignment is a group assignment and when an assignment is an individual assignment. An academic suspension or dismissal may affect the student's immigration status. Having to return home without a degree can cause severe emotional distress and shame for the student and the student's family.

Cultural Adjustment

Thinking about the big picture is helpful when working with international students. International students may face issues of cultural adjustment, such as language difficulties, cultural differences, U.S. classroom differences, loss of support system of family and friends, and pressure from family to succeed academically in the U.S.

Cross-cultural Communication

Be mindful when using American idioms and expressions. Paraphrase discussions. Ask students to summarize things to make sure they understand. Consider differences based on a student's culture. For example, a student may say "Yes" if you ask if he understands because it would be rude in his culture to say "No." Develop an awareness of cultural differences in non-verbal behavior.

Married students

  • International students who are married may face additional stressors.
  • The immigration status of the spouse depends on the student. The spouse may depend on the student for social support and English translation. The spouse may be an immigration status prohibiting the spouse from working or pursuing a degree.

Above are just a few topics and suggestions to consider. Please do not hesitate to contact ISSS at 303-871-4912 or isss@du.edu if you have questions about these topics or would like to schedule a cross-cultural training for your department.