A recent survey was distributed to UWindsor faculty and staff to understand their knowledge of supporting and referring international students. Survey results revealed that faculty and staff identified non-academic issues (isolation from home and family, English language support, sense of belonging, and financial assistance/support) as being the top challenges of international students. The prevalence of these non-academic issues have been echoed in the literature, as many researchers have shown that cultural integration and adaption issues are the biggest challenges for international students (CBIE, 2015, 2018; Ortiz & Choudaha, 2014; Zhou & Zhang, 2014).
With a panel of international students, and a discussion on some of their challenges and experiences, this session will explore the following main questions: Can these non-academic challenges affect academic performance? Is it the responsibility of faculty and staff to help international students with these challenges? How can faculty/staff support international students with these challenges?
Participants will hear from a panel of international students to learn first-hand about the unique challenges they face during their time at the University and will have the opportunity to ask questions and interact with them. Students and participants will discuss the challenges and best practices for supporting international students’ non-academic challenges to gain a better understanding of who’s role it is to offer support and what this support looks like.