Mental Health Problems of U.S. Students Studying Abroad


  • Senel Poyrazli The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg, USA
  • Michael A. Mitchell The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg, USA



college students, mental health, study abroad


This study describes mental health problems and needs among a sample of college students from the United States studying abroad in Italy. Overall, students surveyed had relatively low clinical diagnostic thresholds for psychological distress. Individual symptoms were more prevalent and included difficulty sleeping, eating problems (poor appetite or overeating), irritability, and anxiety. Findings from this study offer recommendations for study abroad professionals to screen, monitor, and engage students about their mental health well-being while abroad.

Author Biographies

Senel Poyrazli, The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg, USA

SENEL POYRAZLI, PhD, is a Professor of Counseling Psychology in Social Sciences and Psychology at Penn State Harrisburg. Her major research interests lie in the areas psychosocial and academic adjustment of international students, and multicultural competency

Michael A. Mitchell, The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg, USA

MICHAEL A. MITCHELL, MA, was a graduate student with Penn State Harrisburg at the time this research was conducted. His research thesis examined mental health, alcohol use and cultural adjustment among college students studying abroad.


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How to Cite

Poyrazli, S., & Mitchell, M. A. (2020). Mental Health Problems of U.S. Students Studying Abroad. Journal of International Students, 10(1), 17–27.