Conceptualizing A Program Aimed at Empowering Beginning International Health Science Students for A Successful Transition to University

Joy Cayetano-Penman, Gulzar Malik, Kerry Hampton, Yaping Zhong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


International health science students face many challenges at the beginning of their courses, including a lack of awareness of cultural differences, adjusting to academic expectations, communication difficulties, clinical placement challenges, financial pressures, maintaining cultural and religious practices, discrimination, and emotions such as loneliness and being homesick. This study aims to assist beginning international students enrolled in health sciences programs to adapt to university life and achieve academic success by expanding their coping abilities and self- management strategies. A survey approach was used to evaluate the pilot program named EMPOWERMENT. All first-year international students who participated in the EMPOWERMENT program were invited to complete a post-training questionnaire after the program. The results revealed that increased resilience and improved skills to manage stress were the most frequently reported outcomes of the program. In acquiring these important skills, the students valued the opportunity to share their experiences and learn from each other.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-43
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Comparative and International Higher Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2021


  • international students
  • university transition
  • health science courses
  • resilience
  • coping
  • self-management strategies

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