Publication Date

5-2009

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Rebecca Hovey

Abstract

In the era of globalization, U.S. higher education institutions have been making efforts to attract international students for various reasons. University of San Francisco (USF) is not an exception and it has been successfully recruited and enrolled international students.

International students face difficulties adjusting to U.S. culture both socially and academically. Many studies investigate the difficulties or struggles that international students tend to experience in classrooms in the U.S., but little research has been conducted on faculty perspectives on either campus internationalization or cross-cultural competencies.

This research was developed to answer to the question: How do faculty at the University of San Francisco (USF) School of Business and Management, where 70% of the undergraduate international students population at USF are enrolled, view learning style differences of international students and how does this affect their own approaches to teaching? Nineteen faculty members participated in an online survey and individual follow-up interviews with conducted with three faculty at the School of Business and Management and the Director of Multicultural Student Services.

The research results demonstrated the challenges campus internationalization and the sharing of an institutional vision among different divisions and departments of the university. Faculty members are also struggling to deal with international students’ challenges in their classes due to the faculty’s limited knowledge and understanding of linguistic and cultural differences and associated learning problems. In order for faculty to take advantage of international diversity in classes and for students to maximize their learning experiences, providing adequate support and information to faculty through training or workshops will be an important way to support international students.

Disciplines

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | International and Intercultural Communication

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