South Asian immigrant students facing academic challenges and social difficulties in the United States

The aim of this qualitative study was to scrutinize and explore the social challenges faced by newly arrived South Asian immigrants in their early transitioning period in the United States. This research study examined the factors that impede or facilitate the social process of newly arrived South Asian immigrant students in schools. Additionally, this research study also examined the academic difficulties of newly arrived South Asian immigrant students as they adjust in the English-speaking environment in schools in the United States. In their early period of transitioning to the United States, South Asian newly arrived immigrant students often face daunting challenges in schools. This research study has revealed that even in this modern era, the ages-long systemic racism and stereotypical viewpoints about South Asian immigrants still exist in U.S. society and schools. This existing racism leads to academic challenges and marginalization in the form of inadequate learning support for South Asian newly arrived immigrant students in the English-only classrooms. To address this overlooked phenomenon, this study used the interview and journal methods to investigate the lived experiences of newly arrived South Asian immigrants and students in particular in the United States. To investigate this phenomenon, under the umbrella of social justice, this research study further used the lenses of social capital and culturally relevant pedagogy to unpack the social process of South Asian immigrants’ adjustment on U.S. soil. In search of this overlooked phenomenon, the findings revealed that newly arrived South Asian immigrants bring social and cultural capitals in the form of religion and caste and the desire to uphold their religious and cultural practices without melting into the White American mainstream culture. The study determined that as a result of this need to hold on to their culture and language, they faced harassment, discrimination, and bullying in schools and American society.