A welcoming hand to ease culture shock


The International Student Center should have support from administration to create a mentor program for international students.

With the implementation of this program, current American students could help those who come from different countries to adjust to their new environment both academically and socially.

Foreign students would meet American students who will help them get involved and adjust to America, California and especially Citrus College.

At their first arrival, everything is new to international students and many have said they have a difficult time getting around both on and off campus.

The challenge of finding friends and settling in a new place leads them to be anxious, lonely and depressed.

International students feel at ease dealing with newness and strangeness in a different part of the world when they have a peers to help them.

“Culture shock” is a phenomenon experienced by many international students as they adjust to a new culture, climate, food,institutional rules and home regulations.

A mentorship program that begins from day one of orientation will help foreign students settle down, feel more comfortable, feel less lonely and overcome language barriers and culture shock.

Instructors would be informed of new international students in their classes, so they can accommodate for language barriers and create opportunities for mentors within classes. This would promote academic success for foreign students.

Potential mentors would have the opportunity to earn volunteer hours, especially those a part of any Citrus program such as honor students and student ambassadors who are required to complete volunteer hours.

University of California Berkeley, Santa Monica College, Fullerton College and many other public and private colleges already have mentor programs for international students.

Both American and international students have stated on their respective peer mentor program websites that they have grown to become more outgoing, personable and involved in campus life.

These programs are continuing to expand in the activities that the mentors and mentees participate in.

If Citrus were to adopt a similar program, students would enjoy the diversity of culture, language, food, clothes, traditions and campus life.

This program would be optional for both international and American students and they may spend as much or as little time as they want with their mentors. The time would be arranged to fit both students’ schedules.

The International Student Center has mixers and events open to all students on campus, however they receive little attention outside of the ISC.

With an officially established mentor program, these events would be well known to the general campus population because it would be offered and promoted during orientation.

This program will help American and international students make connections and open their minds to a different way of thinking enabling everyone to grow as an individual.

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