Publication Date

Summer 8-13-2015

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Lynée Connelly

Second Advisor

Bill Hoffa

Abstract

This capstone paper explores the issue of social integration between international and U.S. national students and focuses on the international student community of the Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS), a non-profit that supports students at the University of Washington-Seattle (UW). A survey was administered to 106 UW students involved in FIUTS to test the hypothesis that the FIUTS community desired to have more U.S. nationals involved in the program. After establishing a desire for increased social integration between U.S. national and international students from within the FIUTS community, fifteen U.S. national students who were not involved in FIUTS were interviewed. The interviews of U.S. nationals not involved in FIUTS sought to identify the level of awareness of FIUTS, knowledge of its program offerings, and perceived barriers to entry into FIUTS programming at UW. The findings of this study show that awareness of FIUTS, English language proficiency, cultural differences, lack of incentive for U.S. national students to be involved in FIUTS programming, and the desire for natural friendships to be the most common rationales for U.S. national students not involving themselves in FIUTS. A list of recommendations for international educators to overcome the addressed barriers and suggestions for future research were compiled. Recommendations include collaborating with First Year Programs and Study Abroad to offer an event for all UW students during orientation and creating a marketing campaign targeting U.S. national students.

Disciplines

Community-Based Learning | Educational Leadership | Higher Education | Sociology of Culture | Student Counseling and Personnel Services