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ERIC Number: ED545798
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 213
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2674-8976-0
Improving the Cultural Acclimation of International Students Enrolled in American Colleges and Universities
Weller, Jonathan D.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Cincinnati
This study addresses the importance of helping international students acclimate to their American campus culture in order to meet the aspirations of international education. The study includes a comprehensive overview of international student enrollment in American colleges and universities. It also identifies the many benefits, including economic, educational, and political, that are achieved by ensuring that international students find positive ways of participating in campus culture. The study also identifies challenges that enrolling large numbers of international students can have on U.S. universities. The study utilizes a mixed methods approach to analyze international student input focusing particularly on the experience of Chinese undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Cincinnati (UC), a prominent, public, research university with over 2,300 international students enrolled. The study analyzes three sets of quantitative data: demographic enrollment data, the results of the 2010 International Student Barometer (ISB), and a comprehensive survey administered by the university's International Admissions Office. A qualitative study was performed to allow students to voice concerns and offer recommendations to university leadership. This qualitative approach included two separate on-line discussion forums. One forum was conducted with Chinese undergraduate students and one was conducted with Chinese graduate students. The findings identified a rapidly increasing international student population whose members have not been able to acclimate to campus culture. The primary limitations for Chinese students included feeling that they did not understand American culture, generally possessed weak to moderate English language communication abilities, and had a natural tendency to associate primarily with other Chinese students. Recommendations to university leaders based on the quantitative and qualitative analysis are provided and range from updating bureaucratic university procedures to forming a new campus identity. Though designed as recommendations for UC, these recommendations--and the methods utilized to create these recommendations--may benefit a number of American universities experiencing similar international enrollment growth, challenges and opportunities. This study has many implications for international education. First, it provides a comprehensive overview of the implications of enrolling international students on American campuses. Second, it provides many recommendations that can assist students at other American universities. Third, it serves as a template that can be replicated at other universities wishing to better understand the academic and social issues facing their international students. The study also provides a template for other research related to international education, such as encouraging American students to engage with international students enrolled on their campuses or for better understanding the experiences of American students who participate in study abroad programs. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio