International students in New Jersey are accused of academic misconduct far more often than students from America. There are several likely reasons for this discrepancy, none of which involves a true intent to gain an unfair advantage over other students.
Unfortunately, it often takes the help of an academic misconduct attorney like Joseph D. Lento to show that it was all a misunderstanding and that harsh penalties are not necessary.
What is Academic Misconduct?
Every school in New Jersey has its own definition of what it means to commit academic misconduct. However, they all prohibit the same kinds of actions, including:
- Cheating on a test by using prohibited materials
- Plagiarizing on a paper or claiming someone else's idea as their own
- Forging or altering official school documents
- Studying in groups for individual assignments
Misconduct Allegations Against International Students
International students, unfortunately, face allegations of academic misconduct more often than their U.S. counterparts because they are unfamiliar with the Western education system and the values that it holds most dear. Worse, the pressure that international students face can push them to make use of whatever means necessary to succeed.
A Heavy Pressure to Succeed
Many cultures, particularly from Asian countries, place such a high value on the educational and professional success that international students in college in New Jersey feel an extreme amount of pressure to succeed. When the challenges of studying in an unfamiliar culture, country, and language become apparent, cheating and other examples of academic misconduct become much more enticing. In many cases, they can even seem necessary to avoid what seems like an embarrassing failure.
Different Cultures in School
Perhaps worse is the vastly different culture that the rest of the world has to the education system. While schools in New Jersey value independent thinking and problem solving, many other parts of the world place value on memorization, rote learning, and creativity. These different values have important applications when it comes to issues like plagiarism. Other cultures can see parroting someone else's ideas without citing to the originator as a form of flattery. In New Jersey, though, it is a form of academic misconduct because it involves taking someone else's ideas and passing them off as your own.
The Problem of Language
Finally, international students in New Jersey who come from countries where English is not their first language face another difficulty in college – their writing is naturally stilted and awkward, as it is done in a language they did not grow up with. Instances of plagiarism, even accidental plagiarism, become much easier to detect in an international student's writing than it would be in an American's. What a native English speaker can get away with, an international student cannot.
Joseph D. Lento Represents International Students in New Jersey
International students who have been accused of violating their college's code of academic conduct in New Jersey can use the help of a student discipline defense attorney like Joseph D. Lento. Contact him online or call his law office at (888) 535-3686.