To help international students succeed, the professor examines post-epidemic counseling

They say issues such as racism and xenophobia are factors affecting international students. Can you explain this and why it is your case? How did the plague make this worse?

Like native students, international students practice higher education challenges, such as exploring school and research without the guidance of parents or guardians, or establishing and maintaining social groups and relationships. However, international students are also challenged by language barriers, cultural shock, lack of resources, and lack of access to social support. By further aggravating their life experience at COVID-19, international students are vulnerable to racism and xenophobia that negatively affect their overall health and well-being, including social exclusion, travel restrictions and anti-immigrant sentiment, academic performance.

What problems did you see as a counselor regarding racism and xenophobia? What is the most common issue to be raised?

With regard to racism and xenophobia, some of the problems I have seen as a counselor include the fear of international students moving in public places, especially the fear of being targeted by the Asia Pacific Pacific (AIPI) community. “Chinese virus.” I have seen concerned students fear deportation after government policies are implemented. These policies have completely discouraged online education at the height of the COVID-19 epidemic, as medical professionals seek social distance measures to reduce the spread of infections. Some of the most common issues that international students face due to systemic, institutional and cultural tensions and discrimination – bullying because of their speech, which often leads to social anxiety, isolation and suicidal ideation, are all and should be a cause for concern.

Your work is based on two frameworks – critical feminist perspectives and the theory of biochemical systems. What made them explain these views and use them as a basis for your research?

Critical feminism recognizes the powerful role of social structures, such as national and institutional policies, and seeks to promote social justice through medical practice and investigation. This view recognizes that our current social situation is unfair in terms of accommodating international students and their interdependent identities as linguistic, racial, and ethnic minorities. To fully understand the impact of oppression on an international student, a systematic approach is warranted. The Theory of Biochemical Systems My colleagues and I have visually represented a number of systems and environments that affect the mental health of international students, including their environment, classrooms, and visa requirements. Together, these frameworks enable counselors to understand the ways in which marginalized and unique identities contribute to their social status and worldview when working with international students, and encourage them to empower, support, and advocate for international students instead of contributing to their oppression.

What advocacy measures do you recommend for universities to promote cultural awareness and equality for international students?

Universities can promote cultural awareness and equality for international students through a variety of approaches.

One is to create a more inclusive campus community with the values ​​and challenges that international students bring to the campus community (ie, counselors, administrators, students). Institutions develop a strong sense of ethnic identity and develop ethnic interest groups, cultural festivals and language clubs on the campus, and respect their cultural heritage and develop a sense of pride and ownership. Efforts must be made to break white supremacy on campus and in the classroom by deliberately including differences in curriculum and teaching practices. One example is the international student’s adherence to an accent, rather than a sign of weakness. Instead of waiting for students to show signs of anxiety before they arrive, there should be active learning opportunities for the faculty and staff where they started check-in.

It also helps to change public policy related to visa regulations. An entry visa prevents students from returning home during long vacations, preventing them from contact with family and friends. Teaching university / college stakeholders the implications of staying in the visa process and staying in the US: How to get a job, how many hours you can work, Postgraduate options will be an important step.

Coordinating with current events at the institutional, state, and national levels and enhancing the relationship between international student offices and teachers on campus creates a profitable support network for successful students.

Of a student mesosystem It is their connection to their immediate surroundings, such as their college campus and classmates. Theirs Macro system It is their greatest cultural context, and their Chronosos system Includes designs and transitions over time and development. Given the opportunity, what can UTSA do to improve these systems for students?

Based on the above recommendations, UTAS can continue to develop and / or strengthen relationships between the Office of International Initiatives and teachers, staff, and students who interact with members of the international student community on a daily basis. The university can provide greater visibility on the value that international students bring to campus – enriching classroom experience in a variety of cultures and practices. UTSA can educate students and faculty on ways in which they can become partners with our international students, providing additional workshops, clubs, and celebrations to honor this small, tolerant, but vulnerable community; And share this information on campus and campus to encourage greater participation.

Do you feel that these issues are still beyond the scope of the epidemic or are they calming down?

Mental health challenges in the US existed before COVID-19 and will continue to be practiced by current and future international students. The epidemic has highlighted the daily challenges that international students face, enabling us to highlight this neglected and often vulnerable community. Given that knowledge and understanding, my hope is that higher education institutions will also actively support their efforts and resources by actively recruiting international students.

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