Adjusting to life in the American classroom is not always easy for international students. While some students are able to acclimate with little trouble, others experience culture shock, communication barriers, and difficulties fitting in with their American peers. Below is a look at some of the challenges they face and the resources The Tenney School offers to help international students overcome those challenges and thrive.
“Despite their positive social and economic contributions, international students often experience adjustment challenges given the English language barrier, as well as cultural, academic, and other social factors.”
– Mohsen Alzahrani, World Education Services
International students face a host of challenges adjusting to life in the United States. A lack of awareness of cultural norms and activities combined with language barriers can make life at a new school harder to endure for an international student. Here are three key challenges:
1) Difficulty adapting to a new culture
Adapting to life in a country with different social norms and customs is hard enough for adults. But it can be even harder on a young student who is suddenly thrust into a new environment.
2) Communication barriers
In addition to culture shock, some international students struggle due to their inability to speak English fluently. Nonverbal communication may also present challenges until the students become familiar with nonverbal communication practices that are prevalent in America.
Difficulty fitting in with peers is a problem for some students who are not familiar with the activities and sports that are popular among American children. Without proper intervention, isolation can result.
How does The Tenney School help international students overcome these challenges?
Helping students thrive in a new environment is a top goal of The Tenney School. We offer a tailored learning environment that is a refreshing contrast to the one size fits all approach that predominates some schools. Here are some of the customized educational services that we offer to help students prosper in a classroom environment:
1) Summer learning programs
Summer school programs provide a good opportunity for international students to overcome any learning deficits. More importantly, students have the chance to become acclimated to the American classroom before the regular school year kicks off.
2) Personalized mentoring
Our personalized mentoring platform is designed to give each international student an opportunity to connect with a successful member of the community. With the guidance of a mentor, students gain confidence with the help of a successful, caring role model.
3) Student leadership opportunities
International students are encouraged to participate in The Community Service Club (CSC) and the Student Activities Committee (SAC). Through participation in these groups, students help plan field trips, address student priorities, and engage in volunteer opportunities.
4) Small class size
The Tenney School was founded on the premise that students thrive through one-to-one learning. With a strong focus on individualized learning, students receive the dedicated attention and support they need to overcome the challenges facing them.
The Bottom Line
International students are a welcome addition to The Tenney School classroom. We are pleased to offer a learning environment that is tailored to the unique needs of these students and their families. From smaller class sizes to enriching summer platforms, we offer an extensive array of programs designed to help international students make a smooth transition to the American classroom We invite you to contact us at The Tenney School to schedule a tour of our facilities. We look forward to helping you discover why we are Houston’s most trusted learning environment for international students.