Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Dr. Sora Friedman


The international student experience through the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is under-studied. To further the limited research, this study asks: how has COVID-19 affected the mental health of international students studying in North Carolina? The research used phenomenological design, a survey, and interviews using convenience sampling to primarily gather data from Warren Wilson College. The research uncovered five themes: (a) increased feelings of isolation, (b) decreased engagement and support, (c) academic struggles, (d) connection to family, and (e) stress over the July 2020 ICE regulations. To best support international students at Warren Wilson College, the research recommends intentional in-person connection and support. Furthermore, the research recommends that Warren Wilson College hire additional diverse mental health counselors with intercultural training to better support the international student population. The findings of this research add to the limited research on the international student experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results can be broadly helpful for those supporting international students who wish to understand their experience better and have an increased idea of what support their students may need. As an international student advisor in North Carolina, the results of this research have already informed how I support my own students through any mental health concerns.


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