International Studies & Programs

Supporting Student Mental Health

Studying abroad is an exciting but sometimes stressful experience for students. Use these tips to support student mental well-being on your education abroad program.


Tips for Interaction with Students

  • Focus on pre-departure community and relationship building.
  • Be mindful of student privacy.
  • Listen carefully.
  • Demonstrate concern and interest.
  • Avoid criticizing or sounding judgmental.
  • Do not ask too many questions.
  • Resist the urge to diagnose or label.
  • Suggest a counselor as a resource for students in distress. GeoBlue and the Office of International Health and Safety (OIHS) can help identify local mental health resources.
  • If you are worried about a student's mental well-being contact OIHS to discuss your concerns. If it is urgent, call the MSU 24/7 International Emergency Line at +1-517-353-3784.

International Student Support Program

This program is available for MSU students studying abroad as well as students on other kinds of MSU sponsored travel outside of the United States (US). Brought to you by Morneau Shepell and Michigan State University, the International Student Support Program (ISSP) is available to students and program directors free of charge. The ISSP offers unlimited access to articles, tools, resources, and International Student Support Advisors that can help you succeed during your time overseas.

 The ISSP can help students with:

  • adapting to new cultures
  • being successful in school and work
  • everyday issues while living outside of the US
  • relationships with friends and family
  • stress, anxiety, sadness, loneliness
  • and lots more!

We encourage you to remind your students of this resource. Students may call or chat with an International Student Support Advisor at any time (24 hours a day/7 days a week) to receive immediate support or to schedule an appointment in the future. Students can connect with an advisor who speaks their language and understands their culture, including the challenges they face while outside of the US.

As a program director, you are also welcome to contact an International Student Support Advisor for assistance supporting a student. If you find yourself accessing this resource, please also contact OIHS for their awareness. In crisis situations or if you are concerned about a student's safety, call the MSU 24/7 International Emergency Assistance Line at +1-517-353-3784.

Mental Health Resources

GeoBlue (formerly HTH Worldwide)
+1-610-254-8771 (24/7)

International Student Support Program
+1-416-380-6578 (24/7)

MSU Counseling Center - Faculty/Staff Information

National Suicide Prevention 24/7 Line
1-800-273-TALK (8255)