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EEO. 2021; 20(3): 83-93

Academic and socio- cultural constraints faced by international students in Pakistan: A case study of COMSATS University Islamabad, Abbottabad

Ikram Shah,Abu Turab Khan, Adnan Ahmad Dogar, Noor Elahi, Urvah Rehan.


The aim of this study was to disentangle the international students experiences and document the factors affecting their educational progress and adjustment at university level in Pakistan. Findings of the study come from 65 semi-structured interviews conducted with Afghanistan, China, Nigeria, and Gambia national students who are pursuing their degrees in Bachelor of Science (BS), Master of Science (MS) and Ph.D program in different fields. The analysis of the empirical data revealed that discrepancies exist among students on the basis of their nationality. The main factors affecting the international student educational progress and adjustment issues were academic factor such as assessment criteria, grading pressure, lack of presentation skills, and understating of student online portal system. Language related difficulties include preparing of written assignment, taking lecture notes, and writing reports scientific reports. In social cultural adjustment interaction with others, unfamiliar to local culture, homesickness, loneliness, unavailability of food variety, and difficulty in participation in recreational activities. International students complained on the lack of basic health facilitation and services, lack of exercise facilities particularly for female students, and lack of career counselling and accommodation facilities in the campus.

Key words: international student, university, factors, academic, social cultural, language barriers

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