Challenges of international education

Challengesof international education


Myresearch has explored on the various challenges faced by students whostudy abroad. For several years, international education has been onfocus due to the increased globalization. The idea was drawn fromevidence showing how international students in universities andcolleges are perceived especially, Chinese students and those fromArab countries. Using this perspective, there is a need for anenvironment that is more inclusive, equitable as well as diverse ininternational education.


Thesis:Due to the increased globalization, international educationchallenges should be dealt with in order to have a diverse educationenvironment.

  1. International students face cultural and linguistic problems

  1. Language barriers

  2. intercultural differences especially academic integrity

  1. Lack of a standardized global curriculum.

  1. disparities in grading standards

  1. economic conditions

  2. Lack of interaction

  3. Culture shock

  4. Education expectations

Thefirst challenge faced by international students is cultural andlinguistic problems. Linguistic issues occur when students fromforeign countries lack skills and proficiency in the language oflearning. It is also hard for students from foreign countries tocommunicate with other students in the university because of thelanguage barriers. As a result, most teachers find it hard whenengaging students from different countries. This is because mostinternational students, especially from China lack English masteryand this makes it hard for them to understand assignments or evenjoin in the class discussions. According to Fitch and Surma (2006),the faculty and advisers find it hard engaging a diverse andmulticultural student due to intercultural differences especiallyacademic integrity. On the other hand, high school graduates fromforeign countries do not possess the necessary skills and knowledgerequired in an incorporated global economy. For this reason,transnational educators face a huge challenge in trying tocontextualize theory to students from an unknown culture.Additionally, international students find it hard to integrate intothe American culture, which is very different (Lipson,2010).

Theother challenge of international education is the lack of astandardized global curriculum. In their book, Ramburuth, Stringer &ampSerapio (2013) disparities in grading standards as well as curriculumcan result in credits not transferred from one country to another. Onthe other hand, the system of education in America varies hugelywhere professors emphasize more on group participation, discussionsas well as hands-on learning. For this reason, most internationalstudents may find this a tough adjustment as a result of differentstyle of learning (Ramburuth, Stringer &amp Serapio, 2013).

Thethird challenge faced by international education students is economicconditions. A majority of international student face financialdifficulties since university education in America is expensive. As aresult, this hugely affects students from areas where the currencyrate is low. In the wake of a global recession, economic conditionshave an impact on how student enroll in international education. Onthe other hand, international education is expensive and onlyavailable to a few rich individuals (Teferra, Knight, Boston College,&amp Association of African Universities, 2008).

Theother challenge is the lack of interaction where foreign studentsfind it hard to accept and build relationships while at theuniversity. This is due to language barrier and cultural differencesthat may hinder interaction. Research findings from EKU Universitydemonstrate that most international students did not have Americanfriends since there is usually no interaction between the Americanstudents and the international students. On the other hand, familyworries may cause interference to international students who haveleft their love one behind (Sultana &amp Smith, 2011).

Cultureshock is another challenge faced by onshore international students.Culture shock can be defined as discomfort suffered eitheremotionally or psychically when a student moves from their place owncountry into a new country. However, there exist teaching strategiesthat can help avert culture shock suffered by students studying farfrom their home countries (In Knight, 2013).

Theother challenge of international education is a shortage of foreignlanguage teachers. Researchers found out job opportunities forforeign language teachers proved hard to fill when compared to othersubjects (O’Connell, Norwood &amp National Research Council(U.S.), 2007).

Theother challenge of international education is fear of personalsafety. According to Cumming (2001) student from regions such asMiddle East, especially Arabs fear personal harassment because ofincreased terrorism in the world. He further suggest thatInternational education in America continue to languish as newregulations make it hard for students from middle east region tostudy in the nation after the September 11th attacks (Cumming, 2001).

Finally,the last problem that students face when studying in a new country iseducation expectations. This is because most educational expectationsare culturally bound. For example, in America teachers highly valueautonomous learning, problem-solving and critical thinking. However,many students from foreign countries come from backgrounds thatmainly emphasize on knowledge and respects for teachers. As a matterof fact, some international students may be good students while intheir home countries but remain silence with their point of views(Naiditch, 2010).


Inconclusion, due to the globalization effects on educationinternationalization is inevitable thus more study is required. Onthe other hand, students are persuaded to think globally and prepareto navigate through different cultures, practices and languages inorder to succeed. Students who participate in international educationhave improved language skills and become more expressive and creativewriters. Thus, due to the increased globalization, internationaleducation challenges should be dealt with in order to have a diverseeducation environment (Dennis, 2011).


Cumming,W. (2001). CurrentChallenges of International Education.ERIC Publications: The GeorgeWashington University.

Thisbook tries to offer some tips on how an international student cansucceed while studying in the United States. The book containsbroader issues concerning expectations, values and behavior that astudent can understand in order to navigate in the new environment.

Dennis,J.M. (2011). GlobalEducation Challenges and Opportunities: Students are not isolatedfrom world events. Retrievedfrom:

Accordingto Dennis, there is a need for a global education program sincestudents have to develop competences necessary in today’s complexworld which is interdependent socially, economically and politically.

Fitch,K. and Surma, A. (2006). The Challenges of International Education:Developing a Public Relations Unit for the Asian Region,Journal of University Teaching &amp Learning Practice,3(2).

Inthis book, cultural issues have been highlighted as a factoraffecting learning styles on both domestic and internationalstudents.

InKnight, J. (2013). Internationaleducation hubs: Student, talent, knowledge-innovation models.

Accordingto Knight, education hubs are cross border education initiatives andhelp with strengthening higher education industry as well as enlargethe talent pool which adds in to the knowledge economy. In order toattract a huge population of international students, some countrieshave started to seriously develop into an education hub.

Lipson,C. (2010). Succeedingas an International Student in the United States and Canada.Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Thisbook tries to offer some tips on how an international student cansucceed while studying in the United States. The book containsbroader issues concerning expectations, values and behavior that astudent can understand in order to navigate in the new environment.

Naiditch,F. N. (2010). International Students In American Universities: AnInterlanguage/interculture Analysis. AmericanJournal of Educational Studies,3(1), 13-26.

Thisstudy demonstrates how Brazilian students face cultural andlinguistic challenges when studying in American universities.

O’Connell,M. E., Norwood, J. L., &amp National Research Council (U.S.).(2007). Internationaleducation and foreign languages: Keys to securing America’s future.Washington, D.C: National Academies Press.

Inthis book, the main challenge facing international education is lackof international issues knowledge which is significant in a variousdisciplines such as history, geography and sciences.

Ramburuth,P., Stringer, C., &amp Serapio, M. (2013). Dynamicsof International Business: Asia-Pacific Business Cases.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Accordingto the authors of this book cooperation in global education isinevitable due to the changing education industry where newinternational associations should be built for sustainabilitypurposes.

Sultana,Q., &amp Smith, R. (2011). Evaluation of International Students’Perceptions of Eastern Kentucky University. Online Submission.

Thisbook contains research of international study in EKU University whereimmediate attention is necessary. According to the authors, there isincreased competition for international students in many universitiesbecause of the many benefits such as enhancing a richer culturallife.

Teferra,D., Knight, J., Boston College., &amp Association of AfricanUniversities. (2008). Highereducation in Africa: The international dimension.Massachusetts, USA: Center for International Higher Education, LynchSchool of Education, Boston College.

Thisbook demonstrates how globalization has impacted on internationaleducation. According to the author internationalization has turnedinto a powerful force to contend with.