Cultural Struggles of the International Students Studying at the University of Tampa


Addressing the problem of acculturation among international students when they are placed in a new academic setting is critical to the promotion of the future learning process. Without a profound analysis of the factors that promote or inhibit the education of the specified demographic, the latter is likely to face significant challenges that may eventually lead to a dropout. Therefore, the cultural struggles and the relevant concerns will have to be located to develop the framework for addressing them (Hyland 173).

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According to the responses provided by interview participants, language concerns top the list of challenges with which they have to deal regularly. Similarly, the problems associated with cultural miscommunication, particularly the scenarios in which their statements are misconstrued, have a negative impact on the quality of education. Finally, discrimination toward ethnic minorities poses a significant threat to international students.

Analysis: Cultural Struggles of International Students

The interviews taken at the Tampa University have shown that students face significant challenges due to the presence of three crucial factors. The sociocultural issue is the primary area of concern since it impedes the very process of communication and affects the level of understanding between international students and their peers, as well as international students and teachers.

The financial problems that international students have to address regularly is another factor that aggravates the process of struggle. Because of financial constraints and the absence of resources in the target environment, international students often have to seek any opportunity to improve their situation. As a result, students may suffer financially, legally, and economically. Furthermore, their eventual academic endeavor may turn out to be futile due to the increasing financial and economic pressure, with the inevitable dropout.

Finally, the socio-cultural issue deserves to be listed among the key concerns on the agenda. Specifically, international students may have limited knowledge about the structure of the society in which they will have to study and live. As a result, numerous conflicts may occur. The interviews have shown that tools for addressing the identified issues have to be provided immediately.

Observations and Research Question: Connections

There is an evident link between the outcomes of the interview and the focus of the study. Specifically, the interviews have shown that there are three layers of problems faced by international students in an academic setting. These problems include linguistic, sociocultural, and financial issues that can be addressed once a sustainable program for assisting international students is created (Sleeman et al. 413). Therefore, an in-depth analysis of the existing frameworks for building a rapport between the vulnerable demographic and their peers, as well as their teachers, is required.

Conclusion: Locating the Connections Between Key Variables

The challenges faced by international students in the academic environment are quite real and very difficult to approach without professional assistance. As the interviews have shown, students face three key types of problems in the academic environment, which include language issues, cultural misunderstandings, and financial constraints. To embrace the wide variety of problems that stem from the specified limitations, one will need to develop a program aimed at assisting learners in the process of acculturating to the new environment. As a result, interventional students will feel more secure in the specified setting and, thus, will focus on their academic progress as opposed to the areas of social conflicts and financial concerns.

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Works Cited

Hyland, Fiona. “Challenges Faced by Second Language Doctoral Student Writers in Hong Kong and Their Writing Strategies.” Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, vol. 39, no. 2, 2016, pp. 158-180.

Sleeman, Jade, et al. “Social Media Challenges and Affordances for International Students: Bridges, Boundaries, and Hybrid Spaces.” Journal of Studies in International Education, vol. 20, no. 5, 2016, pp. 391-415.

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