Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Global friendship in the U.S. higher education environment: The cross-cultural friendship opportunities with the growing number of Chinese international students
by Liu, Celia L., Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2016, 147; 10158530
Abstract (Summary)

A fast-growing number of international students is entering the U.S. higher education system, making our college campuses more multicultural and multinational in recent years. This phenomenon represents a new mission for American colleges and universities—to promote global citizenship and a new 21st-century worldview.

The increase of Chinese international students not only brings in revenue for the American higher education system but also enhances the diversity of the student body. Many institutions assert that, by having more international students on campus, they can bring awareness of global competitiveness and promote a 21st-century worldview to their students.

To achieve the educational goal of bringing multicultural diversity and global awareness to U.S. campuses, interaction among domestic and international students is a fundamental factor in making this globalization phenomenon beneficial for all students. However, it is commonly observed that Chinese international students and U.S. domestic students often encounter difficulty in cross-group interaction.

This study investigates the interaction patterns among U.S. domestic students and Chinese international students at two four-year universities with large numbers of Chinese international students. These two institutions, one public and one private, each hosts more than 4,500 international students, with more than 10% of their total student population from overseas and more than 40% of them from China. The objective of this research is to highlight the importance of cross-cultural and cross-national friendship by understanding students’ interaction patterns and identifying both friendship initiators as well as barriers.

The research uncovers the social distance and stereotypes between the two groups as the common barriers to friendship. Conversely, the initiators of friendship are the shared experience and equal status between the Chinese international students and domestic students. Institutions should prepare the way for global interconnectedness by promoting inclusive, world-ready classrooms; implementing a campus climate that explicitly welcomes international participants; and advocating the concept of cross-national global friendship as a part of 21st-century education.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gasman, Marybeth
Commitee: Eynon, Diane E., Wasiolek, Sue
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Higher Education Management
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 78/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Asian Studies, Higher Education Administration, Sociology
Keywords: Cross-group interaction, Globalization, Inclusive campus, Intercultural friendship, International students, Multicultural learning
Publication Number: 10158530
ISBN: 978-1-369-13538-1
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