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ISSN : 2233-6710(Print)
ISSN : 2384-2121(Online)
Journal of Asia Pacific Counseling Vol.13 No.1 pp.15-34

Experiences of East Asian International Counseling Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ye Luo1, Huan Chen2, Liesl Hecht3, Shuhui Fan4, Yuan-Hsuan La5
1Department of Counseling and Psychology, Tennessee Technological University
2Department of Counseling and Higher Education, University of North Texas
3Department of Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Grand Canyon University
4Department of Psychology, Beijing Normal University
5Bridge River Counseling
Corresponding Author
Ye Luo, Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Ye Luo, 1 Eagle Way Matthews Hall, Rm. 244 Cookeville, TN 38505, USA.


International counseling students, especially those from East Asia, were more vulnerable during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic than their domestic counterparts. In the current study, we explored the lived experiences of ten master’s level East Asian international counseling students (EAICS) during the COVID-19 pandemic using a phenomenological design. Four overarching themes emerged from the analysis: (a) transition in COVID-19 pandemic, (b) being culturally minoritized, (c) positive experiences of the counseling program, and (d) positive action. The critical role of the academic community in supporting this marginalized group against racism and xenophobia and practical ways of facilitating EAICS’s professional development are discussed.