Andrea Smadja - C19 Tamar news

Thousands of university students around the world have had their education revolutionized by COVID-19. International students are a vulnerable population, especially since they come from diverse backgrounds. COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected them due to being away from home countries or not being close to their universities.

International students are worried about everything from visas to graduation status, O&P options being harder to obtain or eliminated, and whether or not to return home (if that is even an option due to border closures). Others have worried about being isolated from family members and finding a place to live if dormitories close, experiencing financial difficulty by being self-sufficient, and being alone if required.

This  research has looked at the lives of international graduate students in Ontario concerning policies enacted by the provincial government and the university. it seems to appear that international students have better university support when facing personal and emotional issues that may be made worse by public crises.

The Government of Canada’s 2019-2024 International Education Strategy is dedicated to increasing Canada’s global education offerings and student mobility.

Post-secondary education that incorporates an international, intercultural, or global approach is called “internationalization.”

As it relates to these global challenges, this process involves recruiting international students, developing international branch campuses, advancing academic exchange programmes, creating research and education partnerships, and revising the curriculum to reflect current global situations.

According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education, there was an increase of international students in Canada by 135% between 2010-2020. The number of full-time and part-time international students enrolled in Canadian universities in 2019 was about 1,090,000.

More than 80% of Canadian universities say that internationalization is one of their top five planning priorities.

Existential threats
Thousands of international students worldwide come to Canada each year to attend universities and further their career and academic goals in a diverse global setting.

Although it’s relatively common for international students to experience disorienting experiences, that’s not specific to international students. A considerable number of students, on the other hand, report such issues as academic differences, culture shock, language barriers, financial constraints, and other issues.

People who have gone through these experiences often suffer from severe mental and emotional disorders, including depression, anxiety, and acute stress disorder. A global pandemic like the COVID-19 pandemic only serves to intensify the already considerable challenges that international students face regarding their mental health.

Emotional intelligence expert Daniel Goleman is prominent in the field. EQ is a complex ability made up of various elements. These include the ability to identify, recognize, value, and draw from emotions as a source of information, trust, and creativity.

In doing all these things, he developed five critical emotional intelligence skills linked to making decisions, academics, and everything in between.
These five facets — self-awareness, self-regulation, social skills, empathy, and motivation — related to emotional intelligence are frequently utilized separately or used together in various daily situations.

Students from other countries can take advantage of the fact that emotional intelligence plays a role during a pandemic and after it is over.

Being aware of your own emotions and their effects on others are two examples of self-awareness. When we interact with others, we grow more self-aware and can form complex social relationships. Students studying abroad may be better prepared to identify their stressors and stressors in a difficult situation such as the global pandemic.

Being able to express emotions appropriately and regulate and manage those emotions is all about self-regulation. To succeed in reasoning about emotions, one should learn to perceive, understand, and control one’s own emotions as an ideal framework. If you’re going through an emotional rollercoaster and don’t know how to find balance, it is beneficial to identify positive, healthy activities and practices to help find balance.

Social skills mean creating relationships with other people that are positive and productive. Psychological distress is expected in this pandemic because students often are forced to be alone due to closures in their university or college. Being able to engage with others is critical to the inclusion of those who are vulnerable. International students might be conscious of the broad social context and adjust their interpersonal connections to find new, supportive social ties.

Empathy is about trying to understand what one person might be feeling. The ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes helps you understand the powerful forces that often influence social interactions. Students who study abroad can practise empathy by thinking about how a caring friend might communicate with them. When they put others’ needs before their own, they are more likely to look for opportunities to collaborate.

People are motivated when they draw on their emotions to accomplish their goals, when they persevere despite their obstacles, and when they are looking to have fun with the learning process. When international students are confronted with unknowns such as a pandemic, grief due to the virus, or socio-economic difficulties, it is essential to view the situation concerning the big picture.

Handling even the most challenging life situations with ease and compassion requires employing all five significant emotional intelligence factors.

Emotional intelligence is essential for managing their adaptive processes and regulating their emotions during a pandemic, especially for international students.

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