Academic journal article Journal of International Students

International Students' Confidence and Academic Success

Academic journal article Journal of International Students

International Students' Confidence and Academic Success

Article excerpt


Research shows that the international student population is showing significant growth. This article deals with issues affecting a growing international student population. Studies show that foreign students are encountering difficulties in social adaptability, language barriers, academic ability, and financial need. There is evidence that a correlation exists among a sense of self-efficacy and each of these four issues. This study includes quantitative analysis of 137 students' responses to a questionnaire addressing each of these issues that constitute their total resources. Data show that international students attending a mid-western university who scored high on confidence levels in completing their programs of study also scored high on their confidence of their resources. Analysis revealed that students who scored low in confidence for completing their programs of study also scored low on their confidence of these four aforementioned issues.

Keywords: international students, confidence, campus resources, academic success

American research universities establish relationships with academic institutions outside of the U.S., and that brings an international perspective to American academia (Davis-Wiley, Benner, & Rider, 2007). At the same time, there is a significant benefit to increasing domestic students' global competency by promoting familiarity with different world cultures (Pandit, 2007). According to Jenny J. Lee (2007), the academic perspective and the financial benefits that foreign students bring to a university is valuable. Furthermore, the education that international students acquire from the U.S. leads to a constructive and positive attitude toward the U.S. (I .ce & Rice, 2007).

In 2011-2012, the number of international students increased 5.7%, reaching a record high of 764,495 (Institute of International Education [HE], 2012). According to HE (2012), there were 309,342 international undergraduate students, 300,430 international graduate students, and 69,566 international students not seeking a degree, contributing 22 billion dollars annually to the United States economy. Fischer (2011) writes that colleges and universities are increasing their recruitment process while decreasing their admission criteria in order to attract international students. In addition to the academic expense, international students and their dependents spend over 14 billion dollars a year in goods and services (HE, 2012).

Because of the academic and economic contributions international students offer, American higher education institutions are expected to maintain an aggressive recruitment program (HE, 2012). To stay internationally competitive in attracting international students, colleges must adapt a multicultural approach to academics and campus life in general. A guaranteed way to have a constant flow of international students is to meet the needs of the students that are already here (Karuppan & Barari, 2010). The United States learning environments are unique compared to those of other countries; consequently international students are faced with new social and academic conditions (Johnson & Kumar, 2010; Tang, 1993; Volet & Kee, 1993; Ward, 2001). Students experience stress and anxiety when faced with community acceptance/comfort, language mastery, academic preparation, and financial solvency issues.

This article analyzes these four issues that international students may face when studying in the U.S., i.e., to determine if the four issues are sufficient to alter the students' confidence level in successfully completing their studies. While the literature provided the basis for identifying each of the issues and how they affect students' confidence of success, this study provides insight on the impact of these concerns on the current foreign student population.

The key to this research is self-efficacy as that is one of the strongest contributors to one's psychological success when it comes to completing a desired action (Bandura, 1997). …

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