Domestic Internationalization: Developing Competencies for Economically Underprivileged American Undergraduate Students at Home Campus


One of the major components of higher education internationalization - - studying in a foreign country for a certain period of time, regardless of financial support, grants, scholarships and awards available - - still remains a privilege for many American students pursuing their undergraduate studies at the higher education institutions in the United States.

This study examines the case of Alfred University and its campus internationalization efforts in relation to its economically underprivileged students who do not study abroad because of economic reasons. Having chosen case study as the research methodology, I describe internationalization efforts on campus and I identify the opportunities provided to students to acquire international understanding and appreciation through domestic internationalization efforts, which do not involve study abroad. Through the data, gathered from interviews conducted with students and administrators and mainly from literature sources, this study also seeks to identify the methods and tools to internationalize the campus more effectively.

The result of my research showed that limited opportunity and scarce resources can lead economically disadvantaged students in either of two directions: students can get motivated and try harder to learn from multiple sources about foreign cultures, or they lose motivation and view their present economic status as a long-term problem without a solution.

The research showed that the role of the university is immense and the need to provide assistance to students with limited financial resources is much greater than being met at the present time. The findings of this study are important for the purposes of drawing attention to the economically underprivileged class of the American student population, and in so doing, advocating for social equity.


International and Comparative Education

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