Publication Date

2004

Abstract

This paper is an examination of five case studies of international students who participated in the Program for Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management (PIM) at the School for International Training (SIT). The purpose of the research was to illustrate their experiences and identify issues that international students face while studying at SIT. Like all institutions, SIT has a culture all its own, which can only be truly appreciated and understood by the people who have experienced it. SIT is unique among academic institutions, because students study at SIT not only to pursue their professions and/or careers, but also their dreams of becoming agents for positive social change in an increasingly troubled world. Coming from all over the world with different backgrounds and goals, SIT students have to learn to live and learn together for the nine-month, on-campus phase of the program. This paper examined the challenges and strategies applied by the international students to overcome the challenges they face in adjusting to the SIT culture. Special attention was given to an examination of the similarities and timing of the factors they encountered. While it is true that both U.S. American and international students need to adjust to the SIT culture, the research showed that international students needed to work harder to adjust to the cultural and academic environments at SIT.

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