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International Students Student Life

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International students come from over 100 different countries and most come from China, South Korea, India, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. International students bring richness to UC San Diego in many ways and their transition to the UC San Diego and the U.S. will be challenging. They will undergo a culture shock in many areas of their being (i.e., language, food, traditions, academic, social, living/personal habits, and more) while thousands of miles away from their family. For many, Fall Orientation is the international student’s first time on campus, or even in the country, while U.S. domestic students may have visited the campus more than once before matriculating to the university. Social integration and academic adjustments are often struggles international students face (Tsai, 2015). It is crucial that international students consistently use the International Center (and other resources) to get help with these initial transitions. The International Center is supported by professional staff, international and U.S. domestic students, and visiting faculty and family members to help adjust to the campus community. There are several programs and events the International Center provides, like Friday International Café, English-in-Action Tutor Program, Thanksgiving with Local Families, and more.

Resources or Tips for Your Student

  • Get to know the International Center at and email to share your questions and concerns.

  • With your student, participate in the webinar hosted by the International Center. Your student should look for an email invitation from the International Center.

  • Participate in the International Parent and Student Orientation in September and plan to visit the campus for Homecoming in October.

  • Plan months ahead for travel and university holidays. Visa processes can be lengthy and university resources/accommodations are limited during closures and breaks.

  • Visit the Writing Center for help to write papers or for independent projects.

  • Get involved on campus through the Center for Student Involvement, the International Center, or work on-campus.

  • Consider living in I-House (International House) to interact with international and U.S. domestic students.

Frequently Asked Questions

Parent and Family Top Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Parents' Helpline: (858) 534-7273 |