INTEGRATION AND PERSISTENCE OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS IN A U.S. PRIVATE FOUR-YEAR INSTITUTION: A QUALITATIVE CASE STUDY
1 online resource (318 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
ABSTRACTTITILOLA OLUWATOSIN ADEWALE. Integration and persistence of international students in a U.S. private 4-year institution: A qualitative case study. (Under the direction of DR. MARK D’AMICO)Globalization has resulted in the rapid mobility of goods, ideas, services and people worldwide (International Monetary Fund, 2008). The influx of students into the United States continues to increase, making it the number one destination of international students with China and India being the top two countries that send international students to U.S. institutions. The perception is that America has the best educational system in the world. Not only are international students agents of internationalization on their campuses, they also generate revenue for the U. S. economy. In 2013-2014, international students contributed over $27 billion to the U.S. economy through their expenditures on tuition and living expenses (Open Doors, 2014). However, due to lack of adequate research, their diverse needs have not been completely understood by administrators and faculty, thus limiting their integration and persistence in college. Despite much research on college student populations, few studies have been reported to date on the college integration and retention of international students as a subgroup, representing a gap in existing literature on international students. This exploratory qualitative case study focused on the integration and persistence of international students in a U.S. four-year institution. Six undergraduate international students from non-Western cultures and two administrators were interviewed in-depth on the phenomena of integration and persistence of international students at Falcon University. The results indicated that homesickness, lack of friendships and language barrier were hindrances to social integration among international students, and lack of high school preparation, language barrier and the new American educational system, including new classroom etiquette were significant hindrances to academic integration. However, self-motivation, personal goals, self-pride, family support, friends, institutional support and vision of the future were factors that facilitated their persistence in college. The findings were in agreement with Tinto’s (1975, 1987, 1993) model of persistence with the exception of its rites of passage theory. International students needed support from home culture to integrate into the new environment. The students seemed to exhibit multiculturalism as they integrated into the new college environment.The results of this study have implications for domestic students, new and current international students, faculty, administrators, the International Office and the institution to better understand the diverse needs of this student subgroup and to support them during their most vulnerable period so they can integrate and persist through college.
FOUR-YEAR INSTITUTIONSHIGHER EDUCATIONINTEGRATIONINTERNATIONAL STUDENTSMULTICULTURALPERSISTENCE
Lock, CoreyDika, SandraSalas, Spencer
Thesis (D.Ed.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2015.
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