For Life Threatening Emergencies:
Or go to your nearest Emergency Room
For other crisis needs 24/7:
- Call (949) 824-6457 and select Option # 2
♦ Or 1-866-817-9842
♦ Text “Home” to 741741
Tips for International Student Parents
If you have specific or general questions or concerns about your student’s experience at UCI, please encourage your student to visit UCI International Center for assistance. You can also contact UCI International Center (https://ic.uci.edu/parents/index.php) for additional assistance.
Stay in touch with your student
Staying in touch with your student during their stay in the United States can help your student feel supported and help you stay engaged in your student’s experiences. This website (https://educationusa.state.gov/experience-studying-usa/information-parents) provides general information about the experience of studying in the United States to help you have a general understanding of your student’s experience.
Establish healthy boundaries
While keeping in touch during your student’s stay in the United States is important, it is also important to establish healthy boundaries with your student. For example, constant contact with your student may have negative impacts on your student’s adjustment process in the United States (e.g., gaining independence, establishing their own support system, language learning, etc.), even though the intention is well. Additionally, current communication technology (e.g., WhatsApp, We-Chat, LINE, Facetime, etc.) makes it very easy to maintain frequent communication with your student. Such frequent online communication can also be time-consuming and may take away your student’s time to be present in their experience in the United States. Hence, it may be helpful to set up a regular communication schedule, such as at the same time every week or every two weeks. Such regular communication schedules can help you and your student better manage time expectation, prevent frustration (e.g., either party calling when the other isn’t available), as well as maintain a balance between staying in touch with family in their home country and staying present in their experiences in the United States.
Become familiar with the culture shock cycle
“Culture Shock” is the term used to describe the process of adjustment for a person moving to a new culture and facing a sudden change of environment, language, academic/social setting, food, and climate. Culture shock can lead to different levels of anxiety, confusion, or adjustment difficulties for your student depending on your student’s specific situation. Cultural shock is a common process that almost everyone who travels or study/live abroad experiences. It is part of the process of learning a new culture that is called “cultural adaptation.”, which involves two major processes, acculturation (adjusting into the host country’s culture) and enculturation (maintaining one’s original culture).
You as family members can play an important role in helping your student navigate the different phases of cultural shock as research has shown that adjusting into the host country’s culture while maintaining one’s original culture can help with students’ cultural adaptation and adjustment process. This website (https://internationalstudentpathfinder.com/how-to-handle-culture-shock-a-guide-for-international-students/) provides additional great information on this topic.
Be informed about the host country
Keep informed about what is happening in the United States and in your student’s specific state, county, or city. Check out credible news outlets (e.g., Associated Press, New York Times, local news outlet, etc.) for specific information pertaining to your student’s local region and general information about travel and safety.
Reach out to UCI for support of your student
If you are concerned about your student’s mental health, please encourage your student to visit the UCI Counseling Center. You can also reach out to the UCI Counseling Center for a consultation during business hours but please note there are limits to what information can be shared about your student (please refer to the Parent and Family FAQ page for details regarding limits to confidentiality). We have a few bilingual staff that may be able to speak your language and additional translation assistance may be available.
It is getting closer to the holiday break and the end is in sight! Soon we will be with family and friends and getting some much-needed relaxation after the start to the quarter! Phew!
While this time can be something to look forward to, it is important to still be aware of caring for your mental health. Here are some things to consider as we reach the end of the year!
Summer is a great time to reflect on all the things you have done and learned along the way, and to also consider what areas you would like to grow into as you transition into the next academic year.
Take time to reflect, and perhaps even journal out your thoughts:
Are you struggling with your relationship with food? In honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week that occurs Feb. 21st- Feb. 27th here are 7 tips that will help you improve your relationship with food:
1. Be aware that there are NO “good” foods and “bad” foods. All foods provide nutrition and sustenance to the body and our bodies need protein, carbohydrate, fiber, and even sugar and fat to survive. All foods are good if you eat a variety of foods to get all of the nutrients that you need in moderation….