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Mental and emotional wellbeing a priority at Bellerbys College

02 November 2016

In a recent article for The PIE News, Mary Memarzia discusses the importance of caring for international students’ mental health in addition to academic goals.

"The quality of [international students'] study experience will not depend on the educational opportunities alone; the pastoral care and support offered to international students by their schools and colleges is also hugely important in ensuring that their time in the UK is positive, healthy, and rewarding," writes Mary Memarzia, Director of Student Services at Bellerbys College Cambridge.

A recent study published by YouGov found that more than a quarter of all students in the UK report suffering from a mental health problem. According to Memarzia, "these issues can become particularly acute for international students, who often battle to adjust to their new surroundings."

Memarzia goes on to outline three effective techniques, universities and colleges utilise to promote complete care for their international students: improved communication, care for the 'whole student' and encouraging a positive student experience.

In the article, Memarzia describes how in many cultures, the discussion of mental health is discouraged. For students from these cultures, communicating emotional stress can be exceedingly difficult. By appreciating these cultural differences, efforts can be made by staff to help students adjust positively. Getting to know students outside of the classroom, hosting events focused on mental health and providing enrichment activities will help staff to earlier identify issues while providing students a balanced lifestyle.

With the right support and care, academic and health issues can be addressed, leading students to the next stage of their studies feeling enriched and empowered. She writes: "At Bellerbys, we have helped students from over 45 countries adjust positively to studying abroad."

Read the full article to gain further insight into ways Bellerbys College is helping international students adjust positively to studying abroad.

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