Academic journal article College Student Journal

Experiences of International Female Students in U.S. Graduate Programs

Academic journal article College Student Journal

Experiences of International Female Students in U.S. Graduate Programs

Article excerpt


The student population represented by international students has been the subject of numerous studies because of its growth and spread countrywide. Currently, 886, 052 international students, mainly from China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Canada, are enrolled in American institutions (Institute of International Education, 2015a). Chinese students represent 31% of the whole international student population in the United States (Institute of International Education, 2015a). In the case of female students at graduate level, from 1999-2000 to 2009-2010, the percentage in earning both master's and doctoral degrees had an increase (U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2012).

Currently, students are more willing to move, travel, and pursue a degree in a foreign country. Due to the fact that the Americans colleges and universities are prestigious in terms of excellence and diversity, international students have chosen American institutions to pursue their studies (Institute of International Education, 2011; Lee & Rice, 2007) Of the whole international student population, 45 percent are women and they are enrolled mostly in the fields of study of Business and Management, and Engineering (Institute of International Education, 2011).

The flexibility and the numerous institutions in the United States represent one of its major strengths and are most appealing to international students; accordingly, 62 percent of international students perceive the United States as a country that welcomes them (Institute of International Education, 2015b). Indeed, international students add value to the campuses in terms academics, cultural, and social; thus, the significance of embracing the unique student population (Wu, Garza, & Guzman, 2015). The purpose of the paper is to gain a better comprehension of the situations that international female graduate students go through for succeed in college as students and temporal citizens of the United States.


The reason why this topic is important for the authors is their educational and personal background. The first author was bom and raised in Mexico, seven years ago she moved to France where she lived for three years. In France, she accomplished her master's degree in business. Moving for the first time from her home country was tough at the beginning because she barely knew the language and did not know anyone. Eventually, she became accustomed to the city and its people due to she met some friends in the masters program and during the internships. Furthermore, she started interacting more with people because she was able to better understand and speak their language, which made her personal and academic life easier.

Later, she relocated to the United States, where she encountered different experiences due to the fact that she has lived in three different states. California was her first impression of the United Stated and it let her know how diverse and particular the population of the United States was, in terms of culture, religion, and ideologies. She experienced to be part of an English program for adults at a Community College; interestingly, people up to eighteen different countries interacted together in a classroom. Then, she moved to Texas where she enrolled into a doctoral program, this was her first approach to attend an American college. She did make a few acquaintances and could notice how different people perceive themselves, according to their home state. Later, her experience in Nevada has contributed to a more complete understanding of the cultural composition of the United States. The second author shares many similar experiences as her co-author.

Literature Review

Over the past decades, the population of international students enrolled in universities of the United States has been increasing, deserving special attention to meet their educational and social needs. …

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