Thesis

Examining the transition experiences of international students at Landers State University

It was the purpose of the study to examine international students’ transition experiences at Lander State University in order to identify to their needs. There were three essential research questions: 1. What social, psychological and academic challenges do international students face during their transition at a four-year institution? 2. How do international students overcome the social, psychological and academic challenges that they face? 3. What recommendations do international students have regarding the adjustment process? The study researched the experiences of Lander State University international students and identified the challenges they faced. The researcher attempted to discover the various ways that international students overcame their challenges. The purpose was to identify the social, psychological, and academic needs of international students as they transitioned to Lander State University from their home countries. Sources of Data This study utilized a mixed methods approach. The study consisted of 45 international students. Forty-eight point nine percent of the survey participants were undergraduate students, 35.6% were graduate students, and 15.6% were alumni. Sixty-seven point four percent were from Asia while 18.6% were from Europe. Survey respondents from the African region totaled two percent, those who came from Australia and New Zealand made up two percent of the respondents, and two percent came from North America. Conclusions Reached The predominant challenge that international students encountered were social challenges. The social challenges they encountered included having lack of friendships and dealing with isolation and seclusion. The majority of participants did not encounter academic difficulty during their transition experience. The small number who struggled academically felt unprepared for the academic workload and language barriers. Homesickness was the leading challenge encountered by those who struggled with psychological challenges. The findings revealed the importance of ensuring that international students have a good social experience to help them adjust to the university.

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