Students studying abroad experience loneliness that sometimes even 'gets to the point of depression," according to a new study.
A recent study by Monash University and the University of Melbourne revealed that 67 per cent of female and 62 per cent of male international students experience 'periods of loneliness and isolation' while studying in Australia.
AdvertisementThe survey involving 200 students at nine universities across the country found that foreign students were hesitant to form friendship with domestic students, which contributed to their loneliness.
An Indian student interviewed for the study said that the loneliness experienced by overseas students 'gets to the point of depression'.
The students from Singapore were the loneliest, with 100 per cent of those interviewed agreeing that they felt isolated and left out.
Malaysian students also had high rates of friendlessness and desolation, along with students from Indonesia and China.
Some of the students felt they were 'in a very strange place' and had the sense of being 'lost in a jungle'.
'I just stay in my room ... sometimes I cry and when I cry out, I feel better,' News.com.au quoted a Malaysian student, as saying.
"It is significant that 65 per cent of those who had experienced loneliness or isolation had faced barriers in making friends across cultures,' the research stated.
The researchers believe that foreign students should be encouraged for more friendships and the universities should have 'adequate' student services and classroom strategies to help overseas students cope with loneliness by offering counselling.
'If a stronger social bridge between international students and their local context is to be built, this (friendships with domestic students) is the place to build it,' said the researchers.