Stronger Together: Educational Service Augmenters and Traditional Predictors of Adjustment for International Students in the US

Keywords: international students, academic adjustment, social adjustment, marketing research, belonging, educational service augmenters


Drawing on frameworks from marketing research literature, this study indicates that educational service augmenters (e.g., academic advising, writing support services, immigration advising, etc.) are significantly related to international students’ academic adjustment. The results indicate educational, campus, and social support services explained an additional 38% of variance in international students’ academic adjustment, beyond traditional predictors of academic adjustment alone, i.e., language proficiency, friendships, and welcoming campus attitude, for a combined 69% of the total variance in academic adjustment. The results highlight the university’s responsibility in international student integration into local communities and how educational service augmenters and traditional predictors act as complementary, yet distinct, predictors of academic and social adjustment.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Cong Cong

Dr. Cong Cong is a graduate of the Higher Education doctoral program at Old Dominion University. Her research and writing explore international student engagement and adaptation. She may be contacted at

Chris Glass, Old Dominion University

Dr. Chris R. Glass is an Associate Professor in the Department of Education Foundations & Leadership. His research and writing examine global student mobility in higher education. He may be contacted at


Cantwell, Brendan. “Are international students cash cows? Examining the relationship between new international undergraduate enrollments and institutional revenue at public colleges and uni-versities in the U.S.” Journal of International Students 5 (2015): 512–525.
Chen, Helen L., Lisa R. Lattuca, and Eric R. Hamilton. "Conceptualizing engagement: Contribu-tions of faculty to student engagement in engineering." Journal of Engineering Education 97 (2008): 339-353.
Clemes, Michael D., Lucie K. Ozanne, and Lam Tram. "An examination of students' perceptions of service quality in higher education." Journal of Marketing for Higher Education 10 (2001): 1-20.
Curtin, Nicola, Abigail J. Stewart, and Joan M. Ostrove. "Fostering academic self-concept advisor support and sense of belonging among international and domestic graduate students." American Educational Research Journal 50 (2013): 108-137.
Deschamps, Eric, and Jenny J. Lee, “Internationalization as mergers and acquisitions: Senior Inter-national Officers’ entrepreneurial strategies and activities in public universities. Journal of Studies in International Education 19 (2015): 1–18.
Elsharnouby, Tamer H. "Participation behavior among international students: the role of satisfac-tion with service augmentation and brand choice attainment." International Journal of Educational Management 30 (2016): 679-697.
Findlay, Allan M., David McCollum, and Helen Packwood. "Marketization, marketing and the production of international student migration." International Migration 55.3 (2017): 139-155.
Gareis, Elisabeth. “Intercultural friendship: Effects of home and host region.” Journal of Interna-tional and Intercultural Communication 5 (2012): 309-328.
Garrett, Richard. "Explaining international student satisfaction: Insights from the international stu-dent barometer." Retrieved August 27 (2014).
Gallagher, H. Colin. "Willingness to communicate and cross-cultural adaptation: L2 communica-tion and acculturative stress as transaction." Applied Linguistics 34 (2013): 53-73.
Glass, Chris R., Stephanie Buus, and Larry A. Braskamp. Uneven experiences: What’s missing and what matters for today’s international students. Chicago, IL: Global Perspective Institute, 2013.
Glass, Chris R., Peggy Gesing, Angela Hales, and Cong Cong. "Faculty as bridges to co-curricular engagement and community for first-generation international students." Studies in High-er Education 42 (2017): 895-910.
Glass, Chris R., Edwin Gómez, and Alfredo Urzua. "Recreation, intercultural friendship, and in-ternational students' adaptation to college by region of origin." International Journal of Intercul-tural Relations 42 (2014): 104-117.
Glass, Chris R., and Christina M. Westmont. "Comparative effects of belongingness on the aca-demic success and cross-cultural interactions of domestic and international students." International Journal of Intercultural Relations 38 (2014): 106-119.
Gomez, Edwin, Alfredo Urzua, and Chris R. Glass. "International student adjustment to college: Social networks, acculturation and leisure." Journal of Park and Recreation Administration 32 (2014): 7-25.
Goralski, Margaret A., and Ahmad Tootoonchi. "Recruitment of International Students to the Unit-ed States: Implications for Institutions of Higher Education." International Journal of Education Research 10 (2015): 53-66.
Hendrickson, Blake, Devan Rosen, and R. Kelly Aune. "An analysis of friendship networks, so-cial connectedness, homesickness, and satisfaction levels of international students." International Journal of Intercultural Relations 35 (2011): 281-295.
Janjua, Fouzia, Samina Malik, and Fazalur Rahman. "Learning experiences and academic adjust-ment of international students: A case study from Pakistan." Journal of Language Teaching and Research 2 (2011): 1359-1365.
Kang, Sun-Mee. “Measurement of acculturation, scale formats, and language competence: Their implications for adjustment.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 37(2006): 669– 693.
Kim, Young K., and Linda J. Sax. "Student–faculty interaction in research universities: Differences by student gender, race, social class, and first-generation status." Research in Higher Education 50 (2009): 437-459.
Marginson, Simon. 2018. “The New Geo-Politics of Higher Education: Global Cooperation, Na-tional Competition and Social Inequality in the World-Class University (WCU) Sector.” Centre for Global Development, Working Paper 34.
Parahoo, Sanjai K., Heather L. Harvey, and Rana M. Tamim. "Factors influencing student satisfac-tion in universities in the Gulf region: does gender of students matter? Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 23(2), 135-154." (2013): 135-154.
Paswan, Audhesh K., and Gopala Ganesh. "Higher education institutions: satisfaction and loyalty among international students." Journal of Marketing for Higher Education 19 (2009): 65-84.
Paswan, Audhesh K., Nancy Spears, and Gopala Ganesh. "The effects of obtaining one's preferred service brand on consumer satisfaction and brand loyalty." Journal of Services Marketing 21 (2007): 75-87.
Parameswaran, Ravi and Aleksandra E. Glowacka. "University image: an information processing perspective." Journal of Marketing for Higher Education 6 (1995): 41-56.
Redden, Elizabeth. "The international-friendly campus." InsideHigherEd. (retrieved October 5, 2018).
Rienties, Bart, and Eimear-Marie Nolan. "Understanding friendship and learning networks of in-ternational and host students using longitudinal Social Network Analysis." International Journal of Intercultural Relations 41 (2014): 165-180.
Rose-Redwood, CindyAnn, and Reuben Rose-Redwood. “Building Bridges Across the Interna-tional Divide: Fostering Meaningful Cross-Cultural Interactions Between Domestic and Interna-tional Students.” Journal of International Students 8.3 (2018): 1328–1336.
Russell, Marilyn. "Marketing education: A review of service quality perceptions among interna-tional students." International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management 17 (2005): 65-77.
Rundles, Kyle. "Factors impacting the psychological adjustment of Saudi Arabian international students in the United States: Self-esteem, social support, and discrimination (Doctoral dissertation, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)." (2013).
Sawir, Erlenawati, Simon Marginson, Helen Forbes-Mewett, Chris Nyland, and Gaby Ramia. "In-ternational student security and English language proficiency." Journal of Studies in International Education 16 (2012): 434-454.
Stebleton, Michael J., Krista M. Soria, Ronald L. Huesman Jr, and Vasti Torres. "Recent immi-grant students at research universities: The relationship between campus climate and sense of be-longing." Journal of College Student Development 55 (2014): 196-202.
Taylor, Shelley E. Social support: A review (pp. 192-217). In H.S. Friedman (Ed.), Oxford Hand-book of Health Psychology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2011.
Tompkins, Kelley A., Kierra Brecht, Brock Tucker, Lucia L. Neander, and Joshua K. Swift. "Who matters most? The contribution of faculty, student-peers, and outside support in predicting graduate student satisfaction." Training and Education in Professional Psychology 10 (2016): 102-108.
Trice, Andrea G., and Jin Eun Yoo. "International graduate students' perceptions of their academic experience." Journal of Research in International Education 6 (2007): 41-66.
Urban, Ewa, and Louann Bierlein Palmer. " International Students’ Perceptions of the Value of US Higher Education." Journal of International Students 6 (2016): 153-174.
How to Cite
Cong, C., & Glass, C. (2019). Stronger Together: Educational Service Augmenters and Traditional Predictors of Adjustment for International Students in the US. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 11(Winter), 25-35.
Winter 2019 Special Edition