Asee peer logo

Role of Social Interaction in the Barriers Facing First-year International Students in the United States

Download Paper |

Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Factors Influencing Curriculum Development: International Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division

International

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

13

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35169

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35169

Download Count

72

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Johnny Crayd Woods Jr. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5430-9327

visit author page

Johnny C. Woods, Jr. is a Higher Education Ph.D. Student and a Graduate Research Assistant in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia. His research interests are STEM Education; Migration and Immigration issues in education; and Quality Assurance.

visit author page

biography

Homero Murzi Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-3849-2947

visit author page

Homero Murzi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He holds degrees in Industrial Engineering (BS, MS), Master of Business Administration (MBA) and in Engineering Education (PhD). Homero has 15 years of international experience working in industry and academia. His research focuses on contemporary and inclusive pedagogical practices, industry-driven competency development in engineering, and understanding the barriers that Latinx and Native Americans have in engineering. Homero has been recognized as a Diggs scholar, a Graduate Academy for Teaching Excellence fellow, a Diversity scholar, a Fulbright scholar and was inducted in the Bouchet Honor Society.

visit author page

biography

Maia Greene-Havas Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

visit author page

Maia Greene-Havas is an Academic and Career Advisor in the Engineering Education department at Virginia Tech. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The Ohio State University. She earned her Masters plus thirty in School Psychology at Towson University. She worked as a school psychologist in the metro Washington D.C. area for five years and now serves as an Academic and Career Advisor in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech.

visit author page

biography

Abram Diaz-Strandberg Virginia Tech Department of Engineering Education

visit author page

Abram is a Ph.D. student in the Virginia Tech department of engineering education. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering (B.S.) from The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. His research interests include inclusive and creative pedagogies, teaching and learning for mastery, and transfer students, all with a focus around community college environments.

visit author page

biography

Sophia Vicente Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

visit author page

Sophia is a first-year Ph.D. student in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She is a member of the ECLIPS lab and an instructor for the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

STUDENT PAPER

Role of Social Interaction in the Barriers facing First-Year International Students in the United States

Keywords: Social interaction, First-year, International students.

The International student population is on the rise in recent years. The United States (U.S.) has been historically considered the most popular destination; however, in the last years numbers of international students have declined. International students face several barriers when attending college in the U.S., and despite the existence of support systems they find the adaptation challenging. To address these concerns, it is important to first understand prevailing barriers facing international students in their first-year of study which signals the year of transition to a new social, cultural, and educational environment. This is essential to inform institutions and policy makers on ways to enrich educational experiences of international students for further attraction to institutions in the United States. The purpose of this study was to identify the barriers that international students face in their first years from a Sociocultural theory perspective. This theory offers a framework for dealing with barriers affecting first-year international students. The Theory provides a means for enhancing learning in a different context. It emphasizes that social interaction with consideration to role of social factors (eg. peer interaction, language, and culture) are fundamental in the development of adaptation. It also underpins that cognitive development differs between cultures. To better understand barriers facing first-year international students in the United States, we conducted semi-structured interviews with six first-year international students at a major research university. Participants were engineering students in their first-year in college from different countries. Data were analyzed based on thematic analysis using Dedoose data analysis software. Results provide a better understanding of the major barriers facing first-year international students including difficulties with: academics, social and emotional adaptability, cultural clashes, and relationship with domestic students. These are articulated in our paper including the implications for administrators, practitioners, and policy makers.

Woods , J. C., & Murzi, H., & Greene-Havas, M., & Diaz-Strandberg, A., & Vicente, S. (2020, June), Role of Social Interaction in the Barriers Facing First-year International Students in the United States Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35169

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015