Counseling & Psychological Services welcomes you to the U.S. and congratulates you on your admission to UNC Charlotte!
At Counseling & Psychological Services, we are interested in enhancing your educational and social experiences at UNC Charlotte and the United States. We recognize that some of your experiences might be challenging while others might be rewarding for you. Furthermore, a few of these experiences might be similar to those encountered by some of your U.S.-born peers, and others may be unique to your journey as an international student. Overall, life as an international student can be transformational in many ways!
At Counseling & Psychological Services, we recognize that adjusting to the U.S. can involve familiarizing yourself to many new things simultaneously. This familiarization process can bring up different feelings. There can be excitement, and at other times, you might feel stressed. You might be eager to begin your journey, explore new foods and places, meet new people, and be part of different social groups. It is thrilling to learn about new cultures and have access to new educational opportunities and resources. Change can also be challenging, especially when one is not surrounded by the usual sources of support (e.g., family, circle of friends, traditions, food, language, etc.). When stressed, we turn to familiar objects, people, sights, and sounds to make us feel safe. In their absence, one's stress levels can rise pretty quickly.
At Counseling & Psychological Services, we are committed to connecting you to resources that will support your experiences, whatever they may be! Some common concerns that international students experience include:
- General adjustment concerns, including understanding new social and academic environments
- Living away from home; homesickness
- Thriving in a new academic environment; advisor/mentoring relationships
- Housing concerns (e.g., living with roommates)
- Managing new work/life balance (e.g., managing academics and work hours)
- Language difficulties; cross-cultural communication
- Financial concerns/responsibilities (e.g., managing your money, navigating a new bank system, paying bills)
- Faith-based, religious concerns
- Coping with the stress of immigration and visa issues
- Relationship concerns; managing social isolation; cross-cultural dating
- Sexual identity-related concerns; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer-related concerns
- Prejudice, discrimination
- Personal identity development
We recognize that there might be different attitudes about counseling in your home country. At Counseling & Psychological Services, we are respectful of these differences, and are willing to collaborate with you on how best to meet/explore your needs and goals. As a staff, we emphasize respect for your cultural values and beliefs, and are competent with working with students with different identities and backgrounds. We strongly believe reaching out for help and support is a strength. For example, if you are having trouble with your visa, it is smart to ask for help with the process. Counseling can be like this and can help you clarify challenges and identify your strengths to meet them. Over the years, we have seen many international students find CAPS to be a supportive place.
Counseling is confidential. Counseling and consultation is provided by trained counselors and information shared during these meetings is confidential and protected by law, except under certain circumstances.
Questions? Please call us at 704-687-0311.
We understand that Counseling & Psychological Services is one of the many resources that are available to you. Below is a list of some of the additional resources:
- Career Center
- Center for Graduate Life
- English Language Training Institute
- Student Government Association
- Graduate and Professional Student Government
- International Students and Scholars Office
- Office of Academic Diversity and Inclusion
- Office of Identity, Equity, and Engagement
- Graduate Student Ombuds
- Student Health Center
- Student organizations
- The Office of Adult Student and Evening Services (OASES)
- University Center for Academic Excellence
- Writing Resources Center