Mental health problems on international students Essay Example

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Mental health problems on international students

Mental Health Problems on International Students

The influence of cultural diversity in different countries greatly reflects their various education systems. Education is an important center of advanced technology and information accompanied by numerous scholarship policies that attract a large number of international students particularly to western countries such as USA. Transition to universities is quite a dramatic change of life for many young people. Many first year students suffer elevated psychological distress and new environmental features may interact with factors of personality and propagate psychological problems. In this case, international students entering united state’s universities and who struggle to cope with cultural relocation experience a higher degree of psychological problems compared to those who come from the same country.

The Chinese students who migrate to western countries for studies for instance suffer great cultural shocks on landing in the US due to the long isolation of china from the western world. For example, embracing the confusion philosophy (Cronan-Hillix, et al 1986); in order to develop a non-confrontational relationship and adjust to the requirements of the American society, the Chinese students experience more difficulties compared to international students from other countries. In addition, research indicates that the psychological problems of the Chinese students cannot be compared to that of other Chinese immigrants.

Such status of the international students is likely to contribute to problems such as lack of social connectedness, experience and language ability. In addition, they are more likely to have less time to establish coping mechanisms to survive the isolation and discrimination and develop a social support system. They are also mostly subjected to a higher rate of legal restrictions regarding their academics and employment in the foreign countries (Cross, 1995). However, despite the many unique issues affecting these international students, there is little research done on the same.

Media reports have also reported a growing concern on the metal condition of the international students. In an Australian research concerning interviews from china conducted with parents with international students, great concerns were raised on the health insurance and the general provision of health care services in the host country (Bradley. et al, 1995). In this case, it implies that the general psychological conditions and mental distress of such students is not effectively addressed. This and lack of proper counseling amid diverse cultural pressure adds greatly to this problem (Bradley, 2000).

Generally, great changes have happened in the entire demographics of the international student population. In this case, epidemiological research rapidly becomes obsolete. In addition, there have not been any exhaustive epidemiological studies apart from focusing on surveys that provide information on mental disorders prevalence among different student populations and the changes in trends over time. In this case, there is need to undertake a long term comprehensive study covering a variety of higher education institutions with international students to establish a full picture of the psychological problems facing this group . Internet-based survey methods can be used as a development to support this process. Statistics indicate that almost all college and university student have emails. In addition, students seem willing to participate in these studies using this method and there have been higher responses in previous trials.


Bradley,G. (2000).Respondingeffectivelytothe mental health needs of international students. Higher Education, 39,417-433.

Bradley,L. et al (1995). Counseling expectations of international students. International Journal for theAdvancement of Counseling, 18,21- 31.

Cronan-Hillix, T. et al (1986). Students’ views of mentors in psychologygraduate training. Teaching of Psychology, 13,123-127.

Cross, S. E. (1995). Self-construals, coping,and stress in cross-cultural adaptation. Journal of Cross- cultural Psychology, 26,673-697.

Fisher, S., & Hood, B. (1987). The stress of the transition to university: A longitudinal studyof psychological disturbance and vulnerability to homesickness. British Journal of Psychology, 78,425-442.