Barriers to Adjustment: Needs of International Students within a Semi-Urban Campus Community

By Poyrazli, Senel; Grahame, Kamini Maraj | Journal of Instructional Psychology, March 2007 | Go to article overview

Barriers to Adjustment: Needs of International Students within a Semi-Urban Campus Community


Poyrazli, Senel, Grahame, Kamini Maraj, Journal of Instructional Psychology


Following an ecological framework, the primary purpose of this study was to examine the adjustment needs of international students within their academic and social communities. Focus group interviews revealed that students are more in need during their initial transition after arrival to the U.S. and that they experience a number of barriers in their attempts to adjust. Some of these barriers were related to academic life, health insurance, living on or off campus, social interactions, transportation, and discrimination. The implications of these findings are discussed. Recommendations are made for how higher education institutions can help facilitate these students' integration into their communities.

**********

International students have become the focus of media and a research interest for many social scientists following the changes in American society after the September 11 attacks. Shortly after the attacks, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) became part of the Department of Homeland Security and changed the regulations for international students. Some of these regulations include tougher visa rules to get into the country and a close follow-up of the student through a computerized system (Chapman, 2003). Higher education institutions feared that they would financially suffer from these new regulations and that students would choose to study in other English speaking countries such as Canada, England, and Australia. Despite these concerns, the U.S. continues to host the highest number of international students in the world. A total of 586,323 international students were enrolled in different U.S. colleges during the 2002-2003 academic year, an increase from the academic years since before September 11, 2001. International student enrollment continues to increase at a steady pace and currently 4.6% of all college students in the U.S. are international students (Institute of International Education, 2004).

Prior research has demonstrated that these students face many challenges in adjusting to their new environment and that this may have an impact on students' academic success and psychological well-being, and educational institutions' effectiveness in retaining these students (Barratt & Huba, 1994; Charles & Stewart, 1991; Pedersen, 1991). In the wake of 9/11, it may well be that the challenges these students confront have intensified because of the increased scrutiny to which they are subjected by the state and because of the suspicion with which foreigners are perceived in the broader community. Since societies and communities are dynamic, it continues to be important to examine the adjustment issues that international students encounter in different social and institutional contexts. This study examines the needs of international students in a semi-urban university situated in a relatively racially and culturally homogeneous community. It looks at how the students interact with and participate in their academic and social communities and how well these communities provide the necessary support to promote a healthy adjustment for these students. It also suggests ways for higher education institutions to better serve international students in their efforts to integrate into their new community.

The study utilizes an ecological framework (Bronfenbrenner, 1979, 1995; Kelly, 1990; Kelly et al., 2000) in interpreting and analyzing the data. It argues that institutions of higher education need to constantly evaluate the entire context into which they recruit and educate international students. It is insufficient to focus on the concerns they have as merely an expression of individual problems. Rather, attention must be given to the different parts of the social system that foster or inhibit these students' adjustment.

In the sections that follow, we review the research literature on the adjustment experiences of international students. We then discuss the framework for analysis and the parameters of the present study.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Barriers to Adjustment: Needs of International Students within a Semi-Urban Campus Community
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.