Listening to International Students

To help inform our Global Diversity in the Classroom guidance for faculty, the English for Academic Purposes Program asked international students for feedback on their experiences with learning at GW and their suggestions for faculty to make the college experience as useful and supportive as possible.


Common Questions from Students

What do you wish your professors knew about you?

  • "I want my professors to know more about my background. As an international student, I am also a representative of China. I [want] more classmates and professors to know what China looks like exactly."
  • "How I feel in class, my background and my goal."
  • "Goals and aspirations, and appropriate guidance to achieve these."
  • "I wish my professors knew about my learning/study environment related to how I feel in class and maybe a little bit of cultural background. Some professors do, and some don't."
  • "Although my first language is not English, I will try my best to do a excellent job in academic writing."

What do you find the most challenging about being a GW international student?

  • "The education system is new for me so it took me long time to adapt."
  • "Sometimes can't understand what professor said and don't know how to respond [to] questions in English."
  • "Integration in community."
  • "As GW itself is not a small campus, international students tend to hang out with those who are from the same country."

Describe a situation in which a GW professor created a positive learning experience for you as an international student.

  • "By encouraging and engaging us to participate in different activities which in turn will enable us to learn quickly."
  • "Most of professors ... are very friendly. They are always willing to help me (and other students of course)."
  • "For me as an international student, this professor created a positive learning experience by approaching students with an open heart."


Faculty Resources: Global Diversity in the Classroom


Video: International Students’ Transitions to U.S. College Classrooms


This EAP video gives a brief orientation on international students’ transition into U.S. college classrooms. It provides a snapshot of some of the issues that might shape their experiences in class and offers tools to help faculty better understand students’ needs.