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Technology and The International Student Experience

by C4If

It is not uncommon for a switch pupil to expertise some extent of “switch shock” – a dip in educational success throughout their first semester at their new establishment. (Hills, 1965) Coming into a totally new atmosphere with differing cultures, procedures and pressures might be daunting. Switch college students are getting into a spot the place many college students at their credit score degree have already constructed sturdy social networks – leaving switch college students feeling just like the odd ones out. There’s typically a complete different further layer of “outsiderness” for worldwide college students. 

We interviewed Cheyenne Woon, a world switch pupil at Azusa Pacific College in California, to grasp her expertise.

Cheyenne Woon, a 20-year-old biochemistry pupil from Malaysia, grew up figuring out that her mother and father would work extraordinarily onerous to afford her the chance to review overseas. In her phrases, “they actually admired the American training system, primarily due to the emphasis on work-life stability and so they knew the significance of getting an excellent training. Due to that, they labored actually actually onerous to offer us the alternatives they by no means acquired.” She identifies herself as a really outgoing and pushed individual. “I’m an Enneagram kind 3, ‘The Achiever!’” she exclaimed with a smile and fun. 

As pushed and outgoing as she was, she was nonetheless extremely nervous about transferring to a US college. When she heard that APU had an app, APU Now, she logged in and, with butterflies in her abdomen, scrolled by the feed on the lookout for different worldwide college students. All of the sudden she got here throughout a submit from Yundi, a pupil from China, that stated, “hey, should you’re a world pupil, contact me as a result of we’re creating a bunch chat and we need to join with you!”

“The submit felt prefer it was God despatched and I instantly reached out to her.” Yundi turned one among her first mates and helped her with many questions and issues that she had. “It gave me numerous consolation earlier than even coming to the US.”

Nonetheless, she did have moments the place she felt “switch shock.” Lastly being on campus and in her very top notch, Natural Chemistry 1, surrounded by strangers who already had mates felt overwhelming. “Instantly after class, I cried my eyes out, simply because I used to be surrounded by sophomores that already knew one another and despite the fact that I used to be technically a sophomore too, I felt like a freshman. I felt tremendous misplaced and misplaced and disconnected.”

Fortunately for Cheyenne, that feeling of “outsiderness” didn’t final too lengthy as she shortly acquired concerned in extracurriculars just like the “Third Tradition Children” membership. There she met many various college students who had been inquisitive about completely different cultures. “I needed to discover a sense of belonging and I can safely say that I discovered one among my closest pal teams right this moment by this membership.”

Having that first on-line reference to Yundi helped Cheyenne wade by the very actual challenges of navigating a completely new atmosphere with extra confidence in order that she might proceed to seek out like-minded friends and combine into APU’s group. A complete assessment of the analysis commissioned by the Nationwide Submit-Secondary Training Cooperative (NPEC)  helps the concept that having a sense of belonging is related to elevated utilization of sources, higher pupil satisfaction, higher psychological well being, and higher educational efficiency. (Kuh et al., 2006) 

This positively proved to be the case with Cheyenne, “I really feel so blessed to have had the chance to review within the US and meet so many nice folks and have so many nice experiences. However for me, the sensation I’ll by no means ever overlook is opening the APU Now app on the finish of every semester and seeing STRAIGHT A’s!” 

When requested what message she wish to share with college directors concerning the worldwide pupil expertise she stated, “Make sure that your worldwide college students really feel heard and included. Take an curiosity of their expertise and supply alternatives for management. I used to be blessed to have the ability to get a analysis assistantship within the bio lab and an on-campus job as a advertising coordinator to assist promote the APU Now app’s worth to different college students.

It’s been rewarding for me to speak about APU Now with different college students as a result of I felt prefer it was tremendous useful for me to have a spot the place I can meet mates, but additionally entry all of the sources I wanted day-to-day. We had our digital IDs there, the trolley tracker… we might examine our eating factors and we might see the varsity providers and pupil golf equipment there too.”


The APU Now app was constructed on the Prepared Training platform. Click on right here to study extra concerning the platform.


Hills, J. (1965) Switch shock: The tutorial efficiency of the switch pupil. The Journal of Experimental Training, 33(3), (Spring, 1965). (ERIC Doc Copy Service No. ED 010 740).

Kuh, G. D., Kinzie, J., Buckley, J. A., & Hayek, J. C. (2006). (rep.). What Issues to Scholar Success: A Overview of the Literature (Commissioned Report for the Nationwide Symposium on Postsecondary Scholar Success: Spearheading a Dialog on Scholar Success ). Nationwide Postsecondary Training Cooperative.




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