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SURVIVE AND THRIVE: The International Student’s Guide to Succeeding in the U.S.

There has been a remarkable explosion in the numbers of international students coming to the U.S. for educational purposes. While the U.S. has been a popular destination for foreign nationals to come for their university experience, the most notable increase has been students coming for one or all of their high school years in preparation for getting into the university of their choice.

Survive and Thrive: The International Student’s Guide to Succeeding in the U.S. tackles the most common challenges international students face in their transition to the U.S. for high school and/or university and gives them strategies for overcoming them. This is a guide book that helps these students understand what takes place in transition and gives them the tools and strategies they need to not only survive but to thrive in the adjustment. Parents will appreciate the chapter dedicated to how they can come alongside their students, prepare them for the journey and support them throughout this major transition as well as a chapter to help their student deal with re-entry.

  • Preparing to leave
  • Understanding the stages of the transition cycle
  • Dealing with culture shock
  • Understanding American culture
  • Making friends with Americans and other internationals
  • Confronting academic challenges
  • Staying safe and healthy
  • Issues of re-entry
  • Understanding what American universities are looking for
  • Challenges of living as an independent adult at university
  • Chapter for parents to prepare and support their student in this exciting adventure

Praise for "Survive and Thrive"

I recommend Tina Quick’s Survive and Thrive: The International Student’s Guide to Succeeding in the U.S. wholeheartedly. Much of the explosion in global interest in attending schools and colleges in the States results from successful recruitment and applications. Yet, until now, few have focused on the more critical part of the equation: how to ensure that these international students grow, engage, and thrive academically, socially, and culturally once they arrive on campus. This book takes that need head-on with advice that melds theoretical, philosophical, and practical in a way that will help every student seeking exposure to the American educational system. Don’t leave your home country without reading this book! And admissions counselors in every school, college, and university seeking students from abroad need to read it as well—twice!

Mark H. Sklarow, Chief Executive Officer
Independent Educational Consultants Association

Filling a gap in existing literature that mostly addresses practical and academic concerns of international students, this book is an excellent resource for the many emotional, psychological, and cross-cultural challenges international students face. Chief among its strengths are the chapters with advice for parents; advice for younger students who come to the U.S. during their high school years; timely information on such topics as LGBT matters, mental health issues, date rape; an examination of re-entry challenges; and the advice for Third Culture Kids/Global Nomads. It will be to every international student’s advantage to carry a well-thumbed copy of this guide.

Tamara Felden, PhD, Director
Office of International Affairs and Assoc. Dean of Students
The University of Chicago

From what to pack until the sex-drugs-and-rock-’n-roll campus lifestyle, Tina touches on all—and even more!—aspects of the life of kids from abroad studying in the U.S.A., and gives a lot of food for thought. Based on serious research and deep experience, this book is full of practical tips and solid references, and can be used as an extensive check-list. It should be a pre-requisite to all of those considering this adventure!

Catherine M. Mathieu, Coordinator
World Bank Group Family Network

Available at Amazon.com

Tina L. Quick’s well-organized and easy-to-read handbook, Survive and Thrive: The International Student’s Guide to Succeeding in the U.S., provides students with a measure of bold confidence as they head into a period of substantial transition. It covers a multitude of “things to know,” from what to pack to how to adjust back into a native culture. This handbook would be beneficial for any student, but international students would benefit even more from the experience and research Quick has collected. The author provides resources at the end of each chapter, as well as quotes taken directly from international students from around the world. Though this book is written from a secular perspective, it does reference Christian books and encourages moral behavior. 
 
Survive and Thrive begins by preparing the student with suggestions about physical items to bring along with them to their new host home, but largely touches on emotions that might occur when leaving one’s home country. Quick references “The Five Stages of Transition” (originally developed by Dr. David Pollock) to help students understand that the emotions they will experience, though varying, are normal, and she offers healthy ways of addressing them. This leads into the next section of her book which describes the transition stage once the student has arrived in the U.S. The author gives tips on making friends and getting involved in a new and foreign community. A large part of this involves understanding cultural differences; however, Quick also delves into understanding different personality traits, and she uses the Myers-Briggs approach to differentiate between cultural clashes and personality differences. The book also dives into the possible academic challenges students may face, as well as how to maintain one’s physical health and personal finances while navigating through a new culture.  
 
As Quick discusses the change and emotions of leaving a host home, she integrates the transition of moving into higher education by giving students good advice about how to pick a college and how to begin their university career well. This chapter gives a practical approach to college and goes in-depth into the “pitfalls” that can capture and destroy a student’s educational career. These pitfalls include drugs, sex, alcohol, and overall overindulging. This chapter also informs students about LGBT groups, sexually transmitted diseases, and being safe against rape and rape-related drugs.  
 
The last section of the book is for parents, giving them good reminders of what to discuss before, during, and after their student’s international experience as well as tips on how to best communicate internationally using various types of technology.
  
I enjoyed reading this book and felt very connected to the ideas presented to international students about Americans and American culture. Quick’s extensive experience on this subject is very evident in her writings, and she provides great insight into many things high school age students normally do not consider. I think it is a great book and I would recommend it to any student who is facing the struggles and challenges that naturally come from high school and university transitions.  
 
Quick, Tina, Survive and Thrive: The International Student’s Guide to Succeeding in the U.S., International Family Transitions, 2017. 
Book review by Erin Lopez, Academic Services Coordinator, ACSI 
 
 

 

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