Academic journal article Education Research International

International Student's Challenge and Adjustment to College

Academic journal article Education Research International

International Student's Challenge and Adjustment to College

Article excerpt

Hsiao-ping Wu 1 and Esther Garza 1 and Norma Guzman 2

Academic Editor:David Neumann

1, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78224, USA 2, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, TX 78363, USA

Received 14 September 2014; Revised 30 December 2014; Accepted 15 January 2015; 23 February 2015

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

1. Introduction

Given the recent demand for internationalization and globalization of our world, a cross-border student mobility around the world has ensued [1]; the inflow of international students in the United States (US) has increased significantly. According to the Open Doors Report of 2011 [2], there was a five percent increase in the world total of international students coming to the US or 723,277. Table 1 demonstrates the top 10 places of origin of international students from 2009 to 2011. As exemplified in the table, most international students are from Asian backgrounds such as China, India, South Korean, and Taiwan. In addition, recent rent data from Open Doors Reports in 2012 [3] has continued showing an increasing enrollment that is up to 764,495 in the US.

Table 1: Top 10 places of origin of international students, 2009/10-2010/11.

Source: Open Doors Report, 2011 [2].

2. The Value of Embracing International Students

International students study at thousands of colleges and universities in all 50 US states [4]. They contribute to the diversity and internationalization of their classrooms, campuses, and communities. For example, these students add different perspectives in the classroom and enhance the mutual understanding and appreciation of the differences found around the world. Therefore, it is critical to embrace international students on US campuses because of their contributions that have positively influenced the student population on so many different levels. These levels that are influenced include academic prestige, cultural exchange, and financial revenue.

To begin with, among different students, international students are extremely crucial to US higher education for both academic prestige and financial benefits [1]. Celleja [5] found that American students can have advantages if they attend a school enrolling substantial numbers of international students. For example, international students enhance the academic excellence of the colleges and universities they attend because they are academically well prepared academically. Many international students are high ranked in their home countries; however, they have to also meet requirements in academic and language aspects. Namely, these students bring new divergent ways of thinking and catalyze academic competition.

Secondly, international students constitute an increasingly relevant and important source of diversity on college campuses. They enrich the cultural diversity of campuses with their home culture and ethnic experiences. In addition, international students help the faculty and students to develop their cultural sensitivities and skills in working with people from different backgrounds. International students can provide opportunities for American faculty, students, and US society to experience different languages, cultures, and traditions. Hammer et al. [6] discovered that "as one's experience of cultural difference become more complex and sophisticated, one's potential competence in intercultural relationship increases" (page 423). Moreover, as an individual is exposed to diverse cultures, he or she has multiple opportunities to compare and construct a more diverse worldview.

Thirdly, international students also represent a large economic and international relations investment for American universities [2] through their expenditures on tutoring and living expenses. …

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