Supporting International Students
English language proficiency does not eliminate all the special challenges that international students face. Cultural differences—particularly among students from non-Western countries—can create additional burdens. For example, international students may experience difficulty understanding spoken English or an instructor’s use of humor, slang, or cultural references; they may experience a type of “academic culture shock” in which the instructor’s expectations are unclear or significantly different from what the students are used to. This can negatively affect their academic performance.