Publication Date

1997

First Advisor

Karen Blanchard

Second Advisor

Les Long

Abstract

The need for an orientation manual or handbook for new students is widely recognized in higher education. Nearly every college and university in the country distributes such a guide to incoming students in order to prepare them for what is to come. This type of manual facilitates more accurate expectations on the part of new students about college life and clarifies university policies and procedures, both academic and administrative. In the case of international students, a guide or handbook geared specifically toward international student needs is perhaps even more essential, as these students may have even less knowledge of what to expect from college life in the US, how to acquire information, and how to properly complete necessary tasks and procedures. In addition, international students often lack information specific to US culture, customs, and daily activities which are commonplace for the typical US American student. Unfortunately, many institutions of higher learning do not recognize a need for or do not have enough resources to provide a manual or other orientation services specific to international students (Goodwin and Nacht, 1983 in Tillman, 1990). The lack of such a document may contribute to a more difficult adjustment for international students, as they may be ill-equipped to deal with the situations they encounter as students in a new country (Jenkins, 1990). Although it is not possible to eliminate completely the ups and downs inherent in any major lifestyle shift such as is inherent in adjusting to a new culture, it may be possible to decrease the shock of such events if expectations are more realistic and if one is made aware of the tasks one is expected to accomplish (Storti, 1990).

Disciplines

International and Comparative Education

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