Serving the Academic and Co-Curricular Needs of International Students: A Descriptive, Interview-Based Study at One Private Liberal Arts College
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No higher educational institution can aspire to become truly global without an active strategy to recruit, retain, and integrate the highest quality international students (Brustein, 2009). This study examines how one private liberal arts college in the mid-Atlantic area is serving the academic and co-curricular needs of its growing international student population. If the college that acts as the site for this research study is to uphold its commitment to creating globally aware and engaged students, it must consider whether it is doing enough to attract and integrate international students into the life of campus. International students not only inform other students about non-U.S. cultures in the classrooms and dorms, they also contribute significantly to a college or university’s financial viability. Through individual interviews, this study strives to elucidate these students’ perceptions of the academic and co-curricular support they receive at the college, their general perceptions of whether their needs are being met to satisfaction, and their level of engagement on the college’s campus. This study also recommends improvements so the study school can meet its potential to internationalize by serving the academic and co-curricular needs of its growing non-U.S. student population.