The journey of pursuing higher education in a foreign land is both exhilarating and challenging. In recognition of the unique hurdles faced by students from around the world, the university celebrates International Student Support Day to support its commitment to fostering a global community.
In this blog post, we will talk about the challenges faced by international students and how DUSA as a student association can support the challenges faced by international students. Helping explore the avenues of support provided by the university’s dedicated team, and highlight how students can access assistance.
Challenges Faced by International Students
International students often face various challenges when studying abroad. Some common problems include:
Cultural Adjustment: Adapting to a new culture, customs, and social norms can be challenging. Language barriers may also pose difficulties in communication.
Homesickness: Being away from home and family can lead to feelings of loneliness and homesickness, especially during holidays or special occasions.
Academic Pressure: Differences in the education system, teaching styles, and academic expectations can create stress for international students. Adapting to a new learning environment may take time.
Financial Strain: Managing finances in a foreign country can be challenging. Tuition fees, living expenses, and currency exchange rates can contribute to financial stress.
Social Integration: Forming connections with local students and overcoming social barriers may be challenging. International students may feel isolated or find it difficult to establish a social network.
Work Restrictions: Depending on visa regulations, international students may face limitations on working hours or types of employment, impacting their ability to support themselves financially.
Healthcare Access: Understanding and navigating a new healthcare system can be daunting. Accessing affordable and quality healthcare may pose a challenge for international students.
Visa Regulations: Keeping up with visa requirements, renewals, and understanding immigration policies can be complex and time-consuming.
Discrimination and Stereotyping: Some international students may encounter discrimination or stereotyping based on their nationality, ethnicity, or language, which can affect their overall well-being.
Time Zone Differences: Communicating with family and friends in different time zones can be challenging, affecting the ability to stay connected and maintain relationships.
The Role of the Advice and Support Team
Recognising the diverse needs of its international student community, DUSA has a dedicated Advice and Support Team safeguarding student’s interests. The team is dedicated to ensuring that international students have the resources and assistance they need to thrive during their time at the university.
Student engagement initiatives: DUSA support staff along with the vice president of student wellbeing organises workshops and events to help students take care of their wellbeing. Activities like Wellbeing Wednesdays and dog therapy are well-received among students.
Finding accommodation guidance: We have curated a finding accommodation guide for students sharing a verified letting agents list, sharing things to take care of while renting a property and tips to prevent fraud. We also have a dedicated Housing Facebook page where students can post their requirement advert and availability requests.
Mental health and well-being support: The transition to a new country can take a toll on mental health. The university offers counselling services and mental health support and DUSA offers a weekly Speakeasy session to ensure that students have a confidential space to discuss their concerns and receive guidance.
Academic guidance: The Advice and Support team works closely with academic departments to provide targeted guidance on helping students stay on course. Helping them understand their options, when to appeal, how to appeal and continue with their studies.
Where to Reach Out
If you find yourself facing challenges or simply need guidance, here are some key avenues to explore:
Student Services – www.dundee.ac.uk/student-services
DUSA Advice and Support – www.dusa.co.uk/advice
Friends International Dundee – www.dundee.ac.uk/international-advice-service/friends-community
English Language Support – https://www.dundee.ac.uk/subjects/english-international-students
Academic Skills Support – https://www.dundee.ac.uk/academic-skills/students
Careers Service – https://www.dundee.ac.uk/careers/ask-careers-adviser
Global Room – https://www.dundee.ac.uk/locations/global-room
Celebrate International Students’ Day with us!
One of our Advice and Support Officers Priyanka Joshi will be doing a one-hour drop-in session for all the international students at the DUSA reception. Come and have a chat.
When: 17 November from 1 pm till 2 pm.
Come and join us at the Ninewells, Promenade Area in the School of Medicine to celebrate together our diverse student community and have some fun in between sessions.
There will be a stall organised by the school and DUSA with quizzes and a mixture of prizes. Come and win one. Do not forget to bring your friend!
When: 20 November from 12:15 pm till 1:15 pm.
Every year, from November 25th to December 10th, the world observes the “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.” This global campaign aims to raise awareness and take action against one of the most pervasive and insidious human rights violations – violence against women.