Date of Submission

Spring 2023

Academic Program

Division of Social Studies; Sociology

Project Advisor 1

Yuval Elmelech

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Global student flows are increasing at an unprecedented rate (Bound et al. 2021). Given the rapid diversification of the US higher education system, this study examines international students' motivations for selecting an American liberal arts college, their integration experiences in this context, and their future goals upon graduation. It highlights the uniqueness of liberal education as a pull factor, as well as the specific challenges international students face while adapting to a new social and academic structure. Conducting eighteen in-depth interviews with international juniors and seniors enrolled in a liberal arts college on the US East Coast, I discuss the adjustment experiences of this specific population. This group provides a comprehensive perspective to this study because they have transited their institution for longer and have a more pressing date mark regarding their forthcoming lives after college. Significant findings include international students’ evident interest in the multidisciplinary approach of the liberal arts model, divergent strategies in creating social ties, particular academic obstacles of discussion-based classes, and English proficiency as a determinant factor of both academic and social integration. Finally, recommendations for further international student support and future research are provided.

Open Access Agreement

Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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