Review of the Literature on Stress and Wellbeing of International Students in English-Speaking Countries

  •  Eman Alharbi    
  •  Andrew Smith    


This review aims to address the major sources of stress experienced by international students, the role of individual differences, the chronology of their stress levels and wellbeing over time, and gaps in the existing literature. Two electronic databases (PubMed and Psych Info) were searched for English peer-reviewed articles using eight search terms. Thirty-eight studies were included in this paper and divided into themes and sub-themes including sources of stress, individual differences and mental health including stress, depression and wellbeing. The findings highlight major stressors and show mixed results in some areas due to the lack of homogenous samples based on country of origin or ethnicity and sometimes context differences concerning the country or university social dynamics. Limitations were identified in the methodology, and several recommendations for future research are included.

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