For international students, they are a long way from home and many have come to the UK without friends or their family. It is important to contribute to an international student home away from home and help them feel settled.
Top tips for supporting international students
- Think about what activities you can do during your welcome week events to help students feel settled, find their way around and provide a warm welcome. If your activity is in the sports park, could you arrange to do a quick 15-minute tour of the sports park to help students to get their bearings on campus?
- Create a peer support network with your student group. You could look to do this through the buddy(su) scheme allowing students to have someone to help them feel settled during their first couple of weeks as a member of your student group.
- Explain what a club or society does, what are the benefits etc. For some international students, there may not have been clubs or societies at their previous university and this might be a completely new concept.
- As coronavirus has spread around the world, there have been many reports on increase harassment and hate crimes directed towards international students. There is no place for harassment and hate crimes at UEA and you should report anything that you see. You may want to refer back to the anti-racism page to understand what microaggression is.
- During the winter and Easter break, check-in with international students in your club or society. Many will not of had the opportunity to go home during this period and may be feeling isolated or experiencing homesickness.
- Adapting to a completely new culture and social structure is difficult. Cultural differences and language problems add another barrier for international students. Consider this when you are planning events and activities.
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