The purpose of this study was to determine factors that contribute to international students’ academic failure and positive factors that help students recover grades. Interviews were conducted with 21 international students who were on academic probation and had since recovered their grades. In this present qualitative study, we used conventional content analysis to uncover common themes. A major negative factor was the lack of adult supervision in academic and personal life. Other negative factors included unfamiliarity with the U.S. school system, culture shock, difficulty adjusting to different climates, and language barriers. Common positive factors included attending professors’ office hours, asking questions in class, seeking tutoring, and making friends. Professor characteristics such as being approachable, showing concern for student’s success, and having an engaging teaching style helped the students succeed academically.