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My first encounter with international students was in 1978 when I moved 2000 miles away from home to pursue a graduate degree program. Even though I moved within Canada, there were many new transition demands-achange inuniversitysystems,differencesbetweenundergraduate and graduate programs,a new city,and Idid not know anyone in this new place. The university had advised students who were traveling to arrive a weekearlytoprepareforclasses. Theresidencewasnotopenyet,sostudents were temporarily lodged in a dorm. It was there that I met students from many differentcountries,many whom had lefthome forthe first time. The universityhadnothingplannedforstudentsthatweekandthedaysseemed to last forever. We decided tocreate our own schedule ofactivities and took advantageofthetimetoseethenewcity. Ienjoyed gettingtoknowstudents fromothercountries. Severalcriedthemselvestosleepatnight. Iremember thinking about how hard it must be to leave family and friends behind in another country. I also remember thinking that campus services for international students need to be betterplanned during the first weeks in a newcountry. Myexperienceworking with internationalstudentswasgained during 15yearsofcounselingandteachingattheSouthernAlbertaInstituteof Technology, Calgary, Alberta. Students attended this post-secondary institutioninexistingdiplomaprogramsandincustomizedtrainingprograms. Students came fromdiverse backgrounds, includingindividual students who actively pursued international education, students who were sent abroad to resolve family or political issues, experienced professionals who were updating their training for specific employment positions, and groups of professionalswho pursuedcustomizedtrainingprograms. Itwas a ritual to post the flagsofthe source countries and we soon filled the room with the symbolsofnationsjoiningtogetherforinternationaleducation. Counselinginternationalstudentshasbeenfullofchallenges. First,I feltunpreparedtoaddress thecultural diversityinthispopulation. Although international students face many similar adjustment concerns as local students,their situationsaremorecomplex due tolivingand learning across cultures. ThereweremanytimesthatIdidnotfeelastrongconnectioninmy workwithclientsandIwonderediftheyfoundcounselingtobeuseful. This challengedmetodeconstructthevaluesandmethodsthatIhadbeentaught in graduate counseling curriculum.
1: Introduction to Counseling International Students.
2: International Students: Learners in Transition.
3: The Transition Issues of International Students.
4: Re-Entry Transition.
5: Multicultural Counseling Competencies.
6: Case Examples.
7: Enhancing Counseling Services for International Students.