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ERIC Number: ED504410
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
Voices from Around the World: International Undergraduate Student Experiences. Professional File Number 104, Summer 2007
Terkla, Dawn Geronimo; Etish-Andrews, Jane; Roscoe, Heather S.
Association for Institutional Research (NJ1)
This paper explores how students adjust to life at universities outside their home countries. Much of the current research was conducted prior to the 9/11 tragedy and focuses primarily on studies within a single U.S. institution. This project expands the boundaries by including multiple institutions from around the globe post-9/11. Findings suggest that the experiences of international students differ somewhat across continents. Respondents attending non-U.S. institutions reported more difficulty getting involved with club sports/teams, understanding slang, and making host country friends, while those attending U.S. institutions reported that living with a roommate, getting used to American food, and getting used to college food were somewhat more difficult.Those attending a U.S. institution tended to engage in more social interaction. It was also found that student region of origin impacted their experiences while studying abroad. Students from Africa and Oceania reported the most difficulty adjusting to being away from their family, living with a roommate, and the cost of living near their institution. Respondents originally coming from Asia tended to have the most difficulty understanding slang, were less likely to talk with staff members at their institution, make friends of various types, engage in cultural activities, have discussions with others, or engage in recreational or extracurricular activities. Students from South or Central America tended to be the most active in activities. Non-native speakers were more likely to experience difficulty with language related tasks, although native speakers found meeting and making friends with international students, speaking with faculty or staff, and being away from family more difficult than did their non-native speaker counterparts. Respondent sex seemed to have a minor impact, although females tended to report more social network difficulties than did males. Those who had lived in the host country prior to enrolling at their current institution reported significantly less difficulty with understanding slang, dating host country students, being away from their families and meeting other international students. They were also significantly more likely to engage in exercising, extracurricular activities, and participating in community service projects than counterparts who had not lived in the host country prior to matriculation. Where international students were living while attending their current institution also played a small role in their responses. Certain items tended to elicit similar responses regardless of student gender, region of citizenship, native language, whether they attended a U.S. or non-U.S. institution, whether they had lived in the host country prior to enrolling, or were living on or off campus. These factors related to the difficulty of speaking with faculty or staff members, becoming familiar with college life, making international friends, and frequency of spending time at work. The authors conclude that some aspects of the international student experience are universal. Number of Respondents by County/Region is appended. (Contains 13 endnotes and 14 tables.) [The AIR "Professional File" is intended as a presentation of papers which synthesize and interpret issues, operations, and research of interest in the field of institutional research.]
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association for Institutional Research
Identifiers - Location: Australia; District of Columbia; Ireland; Massachusetts; Netherlands