As an international student you bring unique and valuable experiences with you to UNH. Your diverse background adds to the varied mix of ideas circulating around you in both your classrooms and the dorms in which you live. During your experiences here at UNH, you will learn many new ideas and skills that you will take back with you to enrich your peers from your home country as well. Students who study abroad develop not only their academic skills, but also their communication skills and their tolerance for new ideas.
It is important to note however, that you may experience some unique stressors during your time at UNH that your peers here will not. Students sometimes report difficulty adjusting to the cultural differences that they find at UNH and the greater Durham/Dover area. Your experiences of homesickness, getting along with your roommate, and difficulty in your courses may also be experienced differently from your peers. These stresses may make you sometimes feel depressed, anxious, and socially isolated. Although some level of stress is normal, it is important to recognize when stressors are so intense that you may need to seek help.
Some signs that may warn you that you are experiencing a mental health crisis are:
- Intense feelings of anxiety or depression
- Thoughts of suicide
- Physical changes, such as large weight loss or gain and significant changes in sleep habits
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of enjoyment of things you once liked to do
- Socially isolating yourself from others
- An inability to control your emotions
- Low or lower grades
- Substance abuse
If you feel that you are experiencing a mental health crisis, there are many options:
- Many individuals find that making an appointment at PACS and talking with one of our staff members for a few sessions is extremely helpful. This can be done by calling 862-2090.
- Students also find making an appointment at Health Services can be helpful as well. UNH Health Services, like PACS, offers many unique services. They provide a variety of groups, such as meditation groups, and they can also work with students on medication management concerns.
- Share your concerns with other individuals in your life, such as family members, faculty, RAs or your hall director, friends, and roommates.
- If you feel that you need immediate help, please see our section on emergencies
If you experience stress in transitioning to your studies here at UNH, we want you to know that other students have gone through similar circumstances. Sometimes these students found the assistance they desired in various campus areas. Even if you do not feel that you are experiencing a mental health crisis, there are other places around campus where you can find support. Here are some resources that may be helpful:
Join a club or intramural sport! Many students make new connections and friends through being active in the UNH community outside of their classes.
- Student Organization Services offers a listing of all of the student organizations running each year. Check their listing out by clicking here
- Campus Recreation offers many intramural sports teams and other activities to get active and be fit. Their website details the many activities that they sponsor on campus http://campusrec.unh.edu/
- The OISS runs the International Student Circle. This is a group of undergraduate and graduate international students that meets weekly to discuss their experiences adjusting to the UNH campus. It is also a place to connect to other international students and learn about the various cultural offerings available around UNH.
- OMSA is a place where students from diverse experiences can come together in an inclusive community. There are many student groups that meet through OMSA and that offer interesting and unique programs and events.
The following resources may be helpful:
Center for Academic Resources (Smith Hall, 2nd Floor): CFAR offers tutoring, academic mentoring; study skills support; GRE/graduate school preparation services; and determines eligibility to receive Student Support Services through the Federal TRIO program.
Student Accessibility Services (Smith Hall, 2nd Floor): If you are concerned that learning, emotional, and/or physical challenges may be negatively affecting your academic achievement, contact DSS to determine if you could be eligible to receive accommodations.
Psychological and Counseling Services Smith Hall, Room 306; 603-862-2090/TTY: 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 Relay NH): If you are experiencing stressors that are interfering with your personal happiness and academic success, contact the University of New Hampshire Psychological and Counseling Services to make an appointment to speak with a counselor. If you are feeling that you are a danger to yourself or others, contact PACS immediately or call 603-862-2090/TTY 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay NH) if the center is physically closed. PACS offers short-term individual and group counseling. This fall, PACS hopes to offer workshops specifically for First Generation College Students. For more information about PACS services, please visit the rest of our website.