Published On: Monday, January 16, 2017|Categories: Education Info, Parents, Tenney Subscribers|

If an international student is currently in your care, you may feel a bit overwhelmed as you try to help them navigate the ropes in what is, for them, a very new and unfamiliar place. Many international students find it particularly difficult to adjust in the classroom due to differences in curriculum, difficulty understanding, and various social challenges.

As a caregiver, you probably aim to make your charge as comfortable as you can and help them excel as much as possible, but you may not know how to do so. In this article we will discuss some of the ways you can help your international student adjust to their new surroundings and excel even in an unfamiliar school environment.

Give Them Time

Requiring that a student jump right into their schooling as soon as they arrive is a bit much. People need time to adjust and gather their bearings before being pushed into something as challenging as schooling in a foreign country.

Therefore, instead of scheduling your student’s first day of school for a day or two after their arrival, try to push it back by a week or more. Spend that first week after they arrive showing them around town and helping them learn as much as they can about our language and cultural norms before sending them into a classroom.

Insist on Sleep

Exploring a foreign country is incredibly exciting, and a new arrival to the US may feel the need to put off sleep in order to see and do it all. However, attempting to get an education without adequate sleep is a recipe for disaster. People need sleep in order to function properly. Because foreign students are attending school in order to learn and grow, and because they will likely find school in a foreign country to be a challenge, they simply must show up to their classes feeling well-rested.

Offer Homework Help

Due to language barriers, international students often find homework time—when they are left to decider instructions on their own—a frustrating time. You can help make homework a less frustrating experience by helping your international student understand the material and assignment despite any language barriers.

This might take multiple explanations and could even call for a YouTube video or two. However, offering your assistance could help the student succeed much more easily than if they were left to their own devices.

Choose One-on-One Instruction

Individualized instruction is the number one way to help an international student excel in school. One-on-one lessons can be customized to fit what the student has and hasn’t yet learned. This is wonderful, because the order in which concepts are taught is different from country to country. A foreign student may already understand some concepts being taught at his or her grade level, but may never have seen some that they are expected to know already.

Additionally, because the teacher is focused solely on the foreign student, he or she can ensure any problems with communications are addressed quickly in order to avoid the student falling behind due to a mere language barrier.


By using the tips above, we are confident you can make the international student in your life feel comfortable in his or her new surroundings. We also believe that by using these tips, you can help them succeed in acquiring a complete and high-quality education while they are in the United States.

If you are looking for one-on-one instruction for an international student, we would love to hear from you. Here at The Tenney School, we offer high-quality individual lessons to every one of our students. We customize lesson plans in order to best serve each student, and we go out of our way to ensure they fully understand a concept before moving on.

Because of these qualities, we are the perfect environment for a foreign student. Please contact us for more information.

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