Cultural Differences in a Heterogeneous Community: The Challenges of Under-Represented Students in International Education

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Kevin Brennan


Despite the numerous categories of under-representation in off-campus study little remains understood on how the definition of race and ethnicity affects the prospective student’s participation. Parental influence, and financial aid are commonly the first reasons given for the lack of “minority” student participation in off-campus study. But one less identified reason is the assumption that “minority” students have greater interest in heritage seeking because of their race. This study goes a step further in defining who these students are as Ethnic Americans and what International Education Administrators are doing in their awareness of the definitions to the categorization of race and ethnicity. Through questionnaires and data collection from Colleges of the Fenway, I analyze the role administrators take in increasing the participation of students of color in off-campus study and if Ethnic Identity Development can assist in advising. The responses add nuance to our understanding of an administrator’s role and how they address students of color. This study is a first in adding Ethnic Identity Development in advising students of off-campus study options.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education

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