International Students’ Sense of Belonging and Connectedness with US Students: A Qualitative Inquiry
- 7 Downloads
International students studying at higher education institutions in the United States experience challenges as they adjust to new environments. Social connectedness to American college students could mitigate such challenges and assist international students with social and cultural integration. Using qualitative data from interviews with 17 students, this chapter examines international students’ sense of belonging and social connectedness with US students. The study identified five primary factors influencing the students’ sense of belonging and integration with Americans, including perception of inclusion/exclusion, socialization goals and initiative, cultural adjustment factors, English communication ability, and campus support. The findings support previous research on sense of belonging and social integration of international college students. Areas in which educators and higher education professionals can encourage inclusion and positive interactions between international and domestic students are suggested.
KeywordsInternational students Sense of belonging Social connectedness Integration Higher education
- Creswell, J. W. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five traditions. London, UK: Sage.Google Scholar
- Darwish, R. H. (2015). Sense of belonging among international students enrolled in graduate-level business programs: A case study (Master’s Thesis). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/!etd.send_file?accession=bgsu1434980534&disposition=inline.
- Herman, N. J., & Reynolds, L. T. (1994). Symbolic interaction: An introduction to social psychology. New York, NY: General Hall.Google Scholar
- Hurtado, S., Milem, J., Clayton-Pedersen. A., & Allen, W. (1999). Enacting diverse learning environments: Improving the climate for racial/ethnic diversity in higher education. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, 26(8). Washington, DC: The George Washington University, Graduate School of Education and Human Development.Google Scholar
- Institute for International Education (IIE). (2016). Enrollment trends: International students in the U.S. 1953/54-2015/16. Retrieved from https://www.iie.org/Research-and-Insights/Open-Doors/Data/International-Students/Enrollment-Trends.
- van Manen, M. (1990). Researching lived experience: Human science for an action sensitive pedagogy. London, ON, Canada: Althouse Press.Google Scholar
- Merriam, S. B. (2009). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Miles, M. B., Huberman, A. M., & Saldaña, J. (2014). Qualitative data analysis: A methods sourcebook (3rd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Mulenga, D. (2001). Case study research. In E. I. Farmer & J. W. Rojewski (Eds.), Research pathways: Writing professional papers, theses, and dissertations in workforce education (pp. 129–156). Lanham, MD: University Press of America.Google Scholar
- Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition (2nd ed.). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Zhang, J. (2010). Examining international students’ psychosocial adjustment to life in the United States (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (741013992).Google Scholar