Many students around the world have a strong desire to study in the United States, and in recent years international students in the United States have enrolled at an all-time high. There is a significant need to learn more about these students' needs and strategies to identify the most effective practices to improve their academic life and life quality. The demand for overcoming life challenges in a new country and achieve high academic performance with their second language creates high stress for these international students. One of the groups among these international students that has been understudied is the Turkish students. The purpose of this research is to explore the academic and second language-related stress of Turkish international students, in addition to investigating students' self-reported stress management strategies. This study uses a case study methodology to thoroughly understand the impact of the second language of participants' reported stress and how they manage their life and academic performance. The researcher collected interviews from three Turkish-International students who study in a graduate school in the US. The researcher conducted inductive coding and created themes from the qualitative data. The results of the study indicate that students experience challenges due to their second language which creates stressful situations. One of the most critical areas that participants emphasized is the difficulties that they experience while they speak. Participants indicated that the challenges of speaking tasks affect their self-confidence and they tend to speak up less. One of the other critical findings of the study that participants highlighted is that they need to spend more time studying just to be able to survive in a highly competitive academic life as it is challenging to comprehend content knowledge with a second language. The obligation of studying in long hours affects their social and family life. The researcher explored the coping mechanisms that participants found effective and a summary related to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it impacted these students' stress.


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Graduation Date





Wenzel, Taylar


Master of Arts (M.A.)


College of Community Innovation and Education


Learning Sciences and Educational Research

Degree Program

Applied Learning/Instruction




CFE0008145; DP0023483





Release Date

August 2021

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)