HomeUE Research Bulletinvol. 12 no. 1 (2010)

International Students’ Perceptions of Learning Difficulties in a Higher Education Institution

Lonalee Miravite

Discipline: Education, Communications



The study examined perceptions of 30 international college students on factors that contribute to difficulties in the academic, social, and motivational components of classroom learning.  The participants were Chinese, Eritrean, Iranian, and Korean students from eight different colleges of the University of the East, Manila.  The factors included linguistic difficulties, course demand, belongingness, peer discrimination, teacher discrimination, intrinsic value, and utility value.  The descriptive analysis revealed that language and communication difficulties due to the teachers’ use of Filipino as a medium of instruction played the most important role in students’ decision to drop courses, among the factors indicated.  Findings also indicated that 20%-30% of the students expressed concerns and difficulties in all factors mentioned.  The results, however, were not representative of the entire international student population at the said University.  The study recommends that teachers practice more culture-sensitive means of communication, as well as teach from a multicultural perspective when conducting classes with international students.  Student and teacher orientations on cultural diversity may help prevent misunderstandings that often arise from philosophical, ethical, and cultural differences among students.