Distressed in a Foreign Country: Mental Health and Well-Being among International Students in the United States During COVID-19



Using Chandlers and colleagues’ Holistic Wellness Model (1992) as a theoretical framework, this chapter explores international students’ experiences and challenges regarding mental health and well-being during COVID-19 in the United States. By conducting three virtual focus group interviews with eighteen international students in three groups, five key themes regarding international students’ mental health challenges and various dimensions of well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic were identified: corona depression; (not) seeking help for mental health; social isolation and homesickness; anxiety about uncertain legal status; and another pandemic-limited career development opportunity.


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Author Biography

Katie Koo, Texas A&M University-Commerce

Katie Koo is an assistant professor of Higher Education in the Department of Higher Education and Learning Technologies at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Her research focuses on underrepresented students’ collegiate experiences, mental health issues, and adjustment including international students’ well-being.





COVID-19 and Global Higher Education (Completed)