International Students Tend To Be ‘Over-confident’, According To University of Delaware Study


According to a study at one of the US universities, international students consider themselves better at successfully completing study tasks and activities, and are "overly confident" with their abilities. The study was piloted by the University of Delaware where a survey was conducted among 191 international undergraduate students.

In the research they found that majority of the academics thought that overseas students are not successful at completing 22 tasks which include leading discussions, taking exams and essays, doing group presentations and writing about their opinions, Times Higher Education reported.

However, what came out was that the international students were actually "over-confident" when it comes to their abilities and majority of them considered themselves successful in the completion of each task even if they are facing a number of significant challenges. The tasks they were said to be successful at include understanding lectures, taking multiple choice tests, writing research papers, paraphrasing and using sources to avoid plagiarism.

Nigel Caplan, assistant professor at the University of Delaware English Language Institute and co-author of the study said that it was not known whether the faculty who responded were referring to the same exact students who also participate because it was an open survey. However, he said that one of the most important things that should be looked into are the differences or gap when it comes to expectations.

University faculty may have their own assumption about what a good participation is about and international students who studied and were exposed to an entirely different education system may not be aware of those expectations.

This can also be brought about by the learning and experiences these students get from studying abroad. In another German study, it is found that students who studies abroad possess higher levels of confidence in their capabilities because of their exposure to a number of different scenarios and challenges of being away from home, according to SI News.

Ultimately, it depends on the practices that students learn from the particular school they enrolled in, Caplain explained.

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