Exploring the Effect of Team Identification on International Students’ Adjustment to Higher Education in the United States


  • Kibaek Kim University of Arkansas
  • Merry Moiseichik University of Arkansas
  • Jinwook Han Kyung Hee University
  • Sarah Stokowski Clemson University




intercollegiate athletics, international students, social identity, team identification


International students have been continuously transitioning to U.S. colleges in pursuit of high-quality education and social mobility opportunities. Multiple studies have dealt with the adjustment of international students in their process of transitioning to a new environment. The purpose of our study is to explore if college sports fan identification can contribute to this population’s adjustment process. This study used lived experiences from 10 international graduate students regarding their college sports fan experiences and how that helped them adjust to American colleges. Results showed that answers from international students derived two themes: social and academic adjustments. Social adjustment was specified as a sense of belonging and academic adjustment was specified as finding a way to relax from their academic burden. The results of this study can help both the international student office and athletic departments to utilize college sports to help international students with their adjustment to their new environments.


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Author Biographies

Merry Moiseichik, University of Arkansas

Merry Moiseichik is a Professor in the Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation at the University of Arkansas, United States

Jinwook Han, Kyung Hee University

Jinwook Han is an associate professor in the Graduate School of Physical Education at Kyung Hee University, South Korea

Sarah Stokowski, Clemson University

Sarah Stokowski currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational and Organizational Leadership Development at Clemson University, United States.


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How to Cite

Kim, K., Moiseichik, M., Han, J., & Stokowski, S. (2022). Exploring the Effect of Team Identification on International Students’ Adjustment to Higher Education in the United States. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.32674/jcihe.v14i1.3163



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