Academic integrity encompasses different fundamental values including honesty, courage, trust, fairness, and respect. 

For international students, academic integrity may seem simple and straightforward at first glance, but it can also be challenging due to cultural and language reasons.

If you’re planning to study abroad, it will seem easy to practice honesty and commitment in approaching your studies. But if you’re not knowledgeable of the educational philosophy and practice in the country you’re planning to study in, you may unconsciously do acts of academic misconduct.

Depending on the country you’ll study in and the core values of your chosen institution, practicing academic integrity can translate to many forms. This can involve not engaging in academic misconduct such as plagiarism, or overcoming cultural and language barriers.

Different Forms of Academic Dishonesty

Academic integrity serves as the moral code of your university. It is at the backbone of ethical policies that your university has set for students to live by.

Acts of academic dishonesty are different for every institution. But commonly, in Western higher educational institutions, the following are considered academic infractions:

Cheating

Cheating comes in many forms including using your devices to search for answers during tests, and more typically when you intentionally copy another student’s answers.

Plagiarism

Acts of plagiarism often include using the words of an original author without proper attribution, or copying their works and ideas and passing it as your own.

Plagiarism also covers multimedia sources such as videos and images. It is also possible to plagiarize yourself if you have published or submitted an assignment or research paper for one subject, then submit or publish it again for a different subject. 

Falsification of Data

You falsify data when you alter or remove information that affects the accuracy of the information. This also occurs if you invent information to support your claims even though there is no truth behind it. 

How to Uphold Academic Integrity as an International Student

Once you know the different forms of academic dishonesty, you may think that upholding academic integrity is simple. Don’t cheat. Avoid plagiarizing other people’s published works. Don’t fabricate data. But it’s more than just those simple practices.

Know the Specific Scope of the Violation

If you are a non-native speaker of the country’s official or national language, you may experience difficulties in expressing your ideas in writing.

Additionally, in plagiarism, certain institutions accept paraphrasing in the form of exchanging words for synonymous terms. Other institutions are more strict and require paraphrasing of the thought or idea based on your interpretation.

Awareness of the scope of the violation will make it easier to set boundaries and determine at what point does a violation occur. It is strongly recommended to use your own words, and when citing quotes, be selective and attribute properly.

Determine Proper Use of Academic Citations

Identify what your university or professors guidelines are in terms of citation styles. The mechanics of including academic citations may vary depending on your school and even subject.

It’s necessary for you to recognize that previously published works are intellectual properties of the author, and using improper citation means you’re stealing another person’s ideas.

Make sure to use the correct citation to give proper credit to the original author.

Become More Open to Evaluation and Feedback

Listen to your instructor’s evaluation of your work. During this assessment, they may also guide you on how to properly give credit to authors and avoid falsification of data. 

Their feedback should reflect the moral code of your institution. As much as possible, follow their suggestions and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification and verification.

Practicing academic integrity is necessary when studying abroad. Be sure to check out our articles here at MSM Unify to learn more about upholding academic integrity in school.

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