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Psycho-educational group to support the transition of foreign students, in Ankara, Turkey
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CitationThseen, N. (2018). Psycho-educational group to support the transition of foreign students, in Ankara, Turkey. International Conference on Education, Psychology and Society, 26-27 October Tirana, Albania, 2018.
Due to globalization, the number of students who prefer studying in countries different from their home country has grown rapidly. International students change from members of majority to members in minority in the host country. Arthur (2004) indicated that foreign students face distinct difficulties when compared to local students. International students deal with a wide variety of transition issues and experience a lot of adjustment concerns. They have problems that are different, some in kind and some in degree, from the host country students. Common problems that international students face include acculturative stress, language-related difficulties, cultural shock, racial discrimination, homesickness, isolation and loss of social support. Psycho-educational groups are structured by some central theme and designed to help people develop specific skills, understand certain themes, or progress through difficult life transitions. Group approach to counseling with international students may positively impact adjustment difficulties and psychological concerns of international students in the following ways: increasing social support and interpersonal learning, decreasing isolation and loneliness, providing a safe and normalizing environment and a non-judgmental place to practice language skills, helping group members learn practical information about living in a certain state. This paper aims to describe a psycho-educational support group which was designed and implemented in Ankara, Turkey, for some common challenges international students face and most of which relate to cross-cultural adjustment. Psycho-educational groups are structured by some central theme and designed to help people develop specific skills, understand certain themes, or progress through difficult life transitions. The purpose of the study is to endorse psycho-educational group as an effective treatment modality for adjustment problems of international students. The psycho-education group was designed to help foreign students to better adjustment by imparting information, sharing experience with others, feeling similarity, and improving communication ability during sessions, and helping people learn how to create their own support systems outside of the group setting. A Psycho-educational group program was conducted in 8 sessions during 8 weeks, with 8 different topics. Each session lasted from 75 to 90 minutes. From what we know this was the first psycho-education group conducted in Turkey regarding international students. program and initial stage. Nevertheless, all group members agreed this experience was fruitful and they would recommend it to other foreign students.