ERIC Number: ED398177
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Learning Multiculturalism from the Experience of International Students: The Experience of International Students in a Teacher Training Program.
This study explored the aspect of international student culture. To understand how international students perceived their experience as foreign students and how they make efforts to break down language and culture boundaries while they are studying abroad, five international graduate students in the college of education in a large mid-Atlantic University were interviewed. The research questions focused on: the kind of experience the students were having; whether the students perceived their experience in similar ways; and the kinds of coping mechanisms these international students were using to deal with problems. Four significant themes emerged from the analysis of in-depth interview transcriptions and field notes of participant observation: insider and outsider, language handicap, lonely island, and reflective learner. This study produced three main findings. First, supportive instructors and classmates, American friends, and an assistantship are important factors in helping these foreign students convert from being outsiders to insiders. Second, international students perceive their language problem as a kind of handicap that affects their learning, social adjustment, and self-confidence. Third, loneliness is a common feeling of international students because they have no time to make new friends due to the load of academic work and the limitation of language. It is suggested that international students can promote cultural awareness among both teacher educators and prospective teachers in teacher training programs. Breaking down cultural and language boundaries between international and American students can provide valuable cross-cultural and educational experience for all. (Contains 15 references.) (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 8-12, 1996).