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Understanding the Coping Strategies of International Students: A Qualitative Approach

  • Nigar G. Khawaja (a1) and Helen M. Stallman (a2)

International students encounter a range of additional challenges as a part of their tertiary study experience. A qualitative approach was used to understand the challenges faced by international students, coping strategies that promoted their personal resilience and advice they have for future international students. Twenty-two international students from an Australian university participated in four focus groups. The challenges identified by students included adjustment, social isolation, English language skills, academic difficulties, unmet expectations, employment, culture shock and psychological distress. Participants shared their own personal experiences and strategies used by them to cope and identified strategies that future students could use prior to leaving their home country and whilst in Australia to improve their adjustment. Uses of international student stories in prevention interventions are discussed.

Corresponding author
*Address for Correspondence: Dr Nigar G. Khawaja, Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology & Counselling, Queensland University of Technology, Victoria Park Rd., Kelvin Grove QLD 4059, Australia.
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Journal of Psychologists and Counsellors in Schools
  • ISSN: 2055-6365
  • EISSN: 2055-6373
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-psychologists-and-counsellors-in-schools
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