There may be some ways in which you can best help the international students in your classroom, your workplace, or with whom you interact regularly.  Please consider implementing these tips into your everyday interactions.

Language Barrier

While all of our students can speak, read, and understand English, please keep in mind that English is their second language. So early on you may want to make sure they can follow you and your lectures. You may even want to reach out to Intercultural Life to find out what their language skills are so you can best serve each student.

Be Patient and willing

Especially with first-year international student, being patient with their cultural adjustment can be very instrumental to their academic success. Many of them are coming from a completely different culture, social, and academic set up. For example, many may come from a culture where school participation and assistance is not the norm. So being willing to help as needed will assist in their cultural adjustment period.


Learn to pronounce the names of international students correctly. Do not expect the students to choose an American based “nickname” or shortened version of their name. This simple gesture will go a long way in making the students feel comfortable here on campus and in the states.

American Jargon

Be observant to the usage of American jargon when addressing international students. For example, phrases like “ASAP”, “All set to go”, and “Let’s Rock and Roll”. While these colloquialisms are common to American students, international students may have no frame of reference to these phrases.


In many countries plagiarism generally does not exist, especially in East Asian countries. Citing sources in papers, speeches, and other academic works are not expected. While that is the rule of the land here, understanding that some of these students will struggle with the process of citing early on can help alleviate students from unintentionally plagiarizing, in turn causing them unintended academic issues.