International Student Discussion Series: Enhancing Well-Being and Success in the US

Co-sponsored by CAPS & ISSS

The successful and well attended discussion series of 2009 is back to offer more exciting conversations! Our walk-in discussion group provides:

  • a regular meeting place to connect with other international students
  • input from professionals about effective coping skills that would ease your adjustment 
  • strategies that would enhance your success while studying in the US
  • AND practical knowledge about US culture and customs

Meetings will be conducted in the spirit of engagement and learning from one another. The seminar leaders will provide activities, films, speakers, problem-solving suggestions and advice, and promote lively conversations.

Who should attend?

  • Undergraduate and graduate international students
  • Both students who want to come to the group on bi-weekly basis, as well as those who just want to drop in and see what it is about

Who are we?

  • Dr. Yuhong He is a CAPS Psychologist from China with expertise in international students issues. She has personal life experience adjusting to living and studying in the U.S.
  • Dr. Rudie Altamirano is the Director of the International Student and Scholar Services. He has extensive experience conducting cross-cultural workshops and issues related to international students. He has earned his graduate degrees from a U.S. university and has been living in the United States for 30 years.

Past Topics

Spring 2015 Topics:

Effective planning and time management

Interpersonal conflicts and resolution


Job/internship search

Stress management

Managing procrastination

End of semester Happy Hour

Fall 2014 Topics:

Getting started at Penn: Adjustment and Culture Shock

Making friends with Americans at Penn  

Living away from home: Healthy coping and managing family's expectations 

Managing relationships with advisors / professors / supervisors 

Career development and job/internship search 

Wellness: What every international student should know 

Sex, romantic relationships and dating

End-of-Semester Happy Hour

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Counseling and Psychological Services offers free and confidential services to all Penn undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Their services include individual and group counseling and therapy, crisis intervention, structured workshops, psychological testing, medication reviews, and consultation. In general, their staff is experienced in working with international students. They also have an International Specialist on staff whom in collaboration with other CAPS staff and campus partners, facilitates the provision of outreach programs (e.g., International Student Discussion Series), group therapy (e.g., International Graduate Support Group), multilingual individual therapy (e.g., Mandarin and Cantonese), and consultation that are geared towards international students at Penn.