The ISWP is a new support program, initiated through selected education agents in conjunction with international student support organisation, PIEoneer Award 2017 winner Morneau Shepell, that is tailored to the unique needs of international students and their parents for pre-departure and on-going support immediately upon the students’ arrival in the US.
“Chinese students are particularly vulnerable to the change in culture”
Endorsed by the Chinese association of study abroad service agencies, BOSSA, the ISWP is set to have a positive impact on agents’ business reputation through saving time and allowing agents to be more effective in providing welfare guidance while the student is on campus.
Meanwhile, students and parents will be able to receive 24/7 support across cultural, academic, social and welfare concerns in their preferred language.
Speaking to The PIE News, executive director of MyStay International David Bycroft said student support in the US is one of the most in-demand areas of improvement that is needed for the country to do better with international students.
“Chinese students are particularly vulnerable to the change in culture, and what Morneau Shepell has learned from the work they have already done is that this [support] makes a real difference.
“What we are excited about is that this is the first time that students in their own countries, and their parents, have access to professional counsellors specialise in mental health to talk about anything to do with going to study in the US,” he added.
Bycroft said it will also improve the student experience because students’ worries can be addressed before they leave their home countries.
“It looks really positive and China is responding very well to the idea,” Bycroft told The PIE, adding that there will be a similar support system launched in Korea over the coming months.
“This is going to be a real game-changer,” he said.