Publication Date

2010

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

John Vogelsang

Abstract

International students comprise a large block of the student population at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). According to Open Doors, a national organization which reports on international student exchange, UIUC has the largest number of international students within public universities (ranking first), and fourth within the nation with regards to hosting the highest (largest) number of international students. The four nations with the most students at UIUC are China, South Korea, Taiwan, and India.

This study attempts to answer the following: What are the challenges international students face as they adjust to the cultural and academic aspect of living in the United States? Building upon existing research on international students, the purpose of this project is to educate the UIUC campus on the experiences and needs of its international students. In addition, the study explores how the University is addressing the adjustment issues of international students in relation to diversity, racial discrimination, immigration issues, and acculturation to American academe.

Besides providing information about the adjustment challenges for international students at UIUC, the findings of this research indicate that the relationship of an international student with his or her advisor is crucial to perceptions of acceptance. Moreover, forming relationships with U.S. domestic students is also critical to international students feeling accepted within their departments and American culture as they initially go through the adjustment process. This study contributes to a better understanding of the experiences faced by international students at the University of Illinois and develops specific strategies to address their concerns. Results will be made available to all interested parties.

Disciplines

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Civic and Community Engagement | Educational Psychology | Educational Sociology | International and Comparative Education | Place and Environment | Race and Ethnicity | Social Psychology and Interaction | Sociology of Culture | Student Counseling and Personnel Services

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