It is imperative to find out the challenges that international students face. According to the Institute of International Education 2016 Annual Report (IIE, 2016), the enrollment trend of international students increased by 7%, from about 200,000 to more than one million international students across colleges and universities in the United States. There are 1,043,839 international students studying in the U.S. and the top fifteen countries of origin of these international students are: China, India, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Canada, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Iran, United Kingdom, Turkey, Nigeria, and Germany. However, as the international students’ enrollment increases, there has also been an increase in the rate of drop out of international students (Redden, 2014). Redden found out that the rate of drop out of international students was attributed to some challenges, with financial challenges being on the top of the list. This study’s purpose was to find out the challenges that international students face while studying in one small university in the Midwestern part of the U.S. It also focused on the roles the host universities could play in helping them through these challenges. Questions asked of international students were informed by the most common themes in the prior literature, including social, academic and financial areas. The themes that emerged from the data were analyzed using qualitative coding. According to the responses of the participants in this research, the challenges that international students in this Midwestern university face range across financial struggles, socialization, home sickness, weather, language and accent issues, and food. The most common challenge among the participants was financial struggles, which about 80% of the interview participants affirmed. Socially, each of the participants used different survival strategies related to language and to homesickness, which included, watching movies, imitating native speakers, calling and visiting family and friends, making friends with other international students. Academically, participants advised other international students to not be afraid to jump in and participate, or to ask for assistance. The participants feel the roles of the host school in addressing these challenges should include provision of scholarships, integrating international students more into the different activities in the school, and also suggested English language programs. Analysis showed that better communication and mentoring among more experienced and new international students, faculty and international staff could also be of benefit. Keywords: international students, challenges faced by international students, host university, study abroad, international student support services.
|Commitee:||Conn, Daniel, Mondon, Jean-Francios, Pijning, Ernst|
|School:||Minot State University|
|School Location:||United States -- North Dakota|
|Source:||MAI 57/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education, Cognitive psychology|
|Keywords:||Challenges, English language programs, Host University, International students, Multicultural, Study abroad|
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