Best Practices for Working with International Students

September 4th, 2013 by Tim

by Najwa O’Hara, faculty member in the College of Business Administration

In my experience, teaching international students can provide a much greater depth of concentration to classroom discussions and dialogues. To best serve our international students, necessary changes have to be made to teaching style and approach. It is interesting to note that what I have always found to benefit international students has also been helpful for those who are from the United States.

Teaching students with different previous learning experiences can be challenging. However, a few small changes can make a big difference. Some of the changes I have made and found to be successful with our international students are:

  • Making the structure of the lecture more transparent
  • Using an introduction and repeating key ideas
  • Offering pre-reading can lighten the language load
  • Globalizing the syllabus to give it a more international perspective

Najwa O’Hara was born in Mosul, a small city in the north of Iraq. After she finished her high school studies, she studied at the University of Mosul where she earned her AAS and BA. O’Hara earned her MBA at PSU and teaches in the College of Business Administration.