The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on International Students in a Public University in the United States: Academic and Non-academic Challenges


  • Nara M. Martirosyan Sam Houston State University
  • Dana Van De Walker
  • D. Patrick Saxon



COVID-19, international students, academic challenges, non-academic challenges


The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially impacted higher education. The unexpected move to online learning and support services have created many challenges.  International students, who often are unfamiliar with the culture and norms of American higher education, have been particularly disadvantaged. Analyzing data received through an online survey, researchers identified the top five academic and non-academic challenges faced by international students during the pandemic, and their use of support services to overcome challenges. The results inform college administrators, professors, and student services professionals on the experiences of international students during the pandemic, and offer suggestions for reviving and expanding campus academic and social support services.


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Author Biography

Nara M. Martirosyan, Sam Houston State University

NARA M. MARTIROSYAN, EdD, is an Assistant Professor in the Developmental Education Administration Doctoral Program at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX. Her research focuses on best practices in developmental education, international students and programs, student satisfaction, and program evaluation in higher education. She has held various teaching and administrator positions in the United States and in Armenia. Email:


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How to Cite

Martirosyan, N. M., Van De Walker, D. ., & Saxon, D. P. . (2022). The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on International Students in a Public University in the United States: Academic and Non-academic Challenges . Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 14(4), 90–102.



Empirical Article