Resources for International Students
You’re studying abroad!
This is an exciting time, but also one that can be full of challenges. Below you’ll find some resources that may come in handy during your semester or year overseas.
If you discover other resources that I haven’t listed here that you’ve found helpful in your own study abroad experience, please let me know! This list will continue to grow over time, and your suggestions can help future international students as well, so please let me know what you’ve found helpful.
Most of these resources are ones that you can access on your own (for free). However, if you find that you’re needing some additional support, jump down to the bottom of the page to learn more about my counseling services or feel free to get in touch to set up an initial consultation.
While many of the resources listed on the general Resources page of my website will be applicable for international students as well as the general public, I’ve collected here a few resources that may be particularly helpful for you as you navigate your semester or year abroad. If you’re looking for resources related to more specific types of emotional struggles (e.g., anxiety, depression), hop on over to my general Resources page to check those out as well.
Mindful Expat Podcast Episodes:
I have a podcast called Mindful Expat, where we discuss topics related to emotional wellbeing and resilience while living abroad. I hope you’ll check it out!
While the podcast covers issues that are relevant to all sorts of people living abroad — not just international students — I’ve collected here some of the episodes that I think you’ll find most relevant to your experiences of studying abroad.
Podcast Episodes on the Studying Abroad Experience:
Episode 30: Opportunities & Challenges While Studying Abroad
Episode 42: Studying Abroad (Part 1): Learning Through the Challenges & Making the Most of Our Experiences (With Guest: Dani Jauregui from Sincerely, Spain)
Episode 43: Studying Abroad (Part 2): Developing Cultural Competence as an International Student (With Guest: Claudia Neiman from Sincerely, Spain)
Podcast Episodes on Cultural Adjustment:
Episode 5: Introduction to Culture Shock & the Expat Emotional Rollercoaster
Episode 15: A Compassionate Growth-Oriented Approach to Cultural Adjustment (with Guest: Sundae Schneider-Bean, MA)
Podcast Episodes on Self-Care:
Episode 39: Reframing Self-Care: Having Empathy for Your Future Self
Episode 14: Self-Compassion, the Two Arrows, & Learning to Surf
Websites & Articles:
Here are a few articles from my own blog that you might find helpful:
“Cultural Adjustment Series” (a series of 5 articles about different stages of cultural adjustment)
Sincerely, Spain — This website has a number of great articles about the study abroad experience as well as articles on cultural adaptation, cultural competence, and other related topics as they apply specifically to international students.
(See above under “podcasts” for my interviews with Claudia and Dani, the two young women begin this great resource!)
While I encourage you to check out their website and explore the topics they discuss, here are a couple of specific articles that I think you might find helpful:
“Why should I study abroad anyway?” (Discusses both challenges and amazing benefits to studying abroad.)
“Confessions: I’m Still Learning How to Accept Who I Am” (Discusses how studying abroad can increase our self-awareness.)
“Confessions: I am a Different Person in Different Languages” (Talks about the experience of feeling like a different person when speaking different languages.)
Apps for Self-Care
Headspace — a great app for beginning to practice mindfulness (to help with stress management and other types of distressing emotions). This app has a 10-day introduction to mindfulness, with guided audio-exercises that is completely free. There is then the option to pay for additional resources if you wish, but many people find their free exercises quite helpful on their own.
Mood Mission — an app to help you track your mood and recognize factors that may affect your mood. When you’re struggling with low mood, it makes suggestions for specific things you can try to help yourself feel better, and you can track the effectiveness of these strategies over time to learn what works best for you. (The app itself is free, although there are in-app purchases for additional modules.)
Counseling Services for International Students
I offer individual counseling for international students both in-person here in Lyon as well as online.
I also offer an International Student Support Group for students here in Lyon.
I do collaborate with some study abroad programs who cover the cost of counseling services for their students. If your study abroad program has referred you to me, be sure to let me know this when you get in touch.
Everything we discuss in counseling is completely confidential, even when you have been referred by your program or when they may be covering the cost of counseling.
Consulting Services & Outreach Programming for Study Abroad Programs
If you are a study abroad program coordinator and you’d like to speak with me about a potential collaboration to provide either counseling services or outreach programming for your students or to consult with you around the mental health needs of your students, please feel free to contact me. I would be happy to speak with you about your program’s specific needs and how I can help.