Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review: Succeeding as an International Student in the United States and Canada



Reviewed by:  Melanie Santarossa, University of Windsor

Charles Lipson’s Succeeding as an International Student in the United States and Canada is an information guide for both foreign students studying in North American university and the faulty who will welcome them into academia.

International students will appreciate the breadth and depth of Lipson’s expertise.  On account of Lipson’s many experiences mentoring, teaching, and advising international students, he effectively reveals the challenges foreign students face when navigating a new campus, country, and culture.  Realizing that academic and social environments collide, Lipson provides detailed suggestions on how international students can manage their day-to-day needs and activities, and also offers insight into how they can learn, study, and work within the higher education setting.  Further, to the benefit of foreign students who may read this book, Lipson acknowledges the fact that in addition to language skills, issues of age, familial obligations, or religion may also act as obstacles to transition.  With these considerations in mind, Lipson informs students of the campus or community resources that may enhance their educational experience.

Lipson’s wealth of knowledge is also useful to faculty whose classrooms may be comprised of many foreign students.  By outlining the main issues international students face in their academic work, Lipson reminds instructors that there may be distinctive traits of North American universities that, if not discussed, might hinder the success of foreign students.  In this respect, Lipson’s book propels educators to reflect on how they can enrich the student experience.  That is, instructors may be inclined to explore group dynamics, classroom atmosphere, and student-to-teacher interaction as seen through the perspective of an international student.  Likewise, the extensive appendix of glossary terms and phrases may encourage faculty to consider explaining or clarifying these terms for their foreign students either while teaching, during office hours, or in their syllabi.

In essence, Succeeding as an international Student in the United States and Canada provides international students with the knowledge and resources required to achieve their personal and professional objectives while studying in North America, and it also convinces North American faculty to recognize their responsibility in making this path to success an easier process for their international students.

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