Troubling Metaphors and International Student Adjustment: Reflections from a Transnational Place

  • David Starr-Glass SUNY Empire State College, International Programs, Czechia
Keywords: cultural capital, inclusion, integration, labeling theory, perceived difference, self-identity, stereotyping


On many campuses, offices of International Student Affairs address the perceived needs of international students. However, a number of underlying assumptions and persistent metaphors shape these efforts and influence their outcomes. All students are uniquely different and face equally different challenges in adjusting to higher education. Labeling students “international” may make institutional sense, but it can potentially hinder their transition, adjustment, and ultimate success. Applying restrictive labels can perpetuate stereotypes, reinforce institutional silos, and potentially fracture international students from the rest of the student body. This article reflects on how students—irrespective of national origins—are viewed and assisted in a transnational setting that includes more than 70% of students who might, in other contexts, be classified as “international.”

Author Biography

David Starr-Glass, SUNY Empire State College, International Programs, Czechia

DAVID STARR-GLASS is a mentor and undergraduate dissertation supervisor with the International Programs (Prague) of SUNY Empire State College. David has earned three master’s degrees: business administration, organizational psychology, and education. His teaching and research interests include mentoring, organizational culture, and cross-cultural management and over the last twenty years he has published more than seventy peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. When not in Prague, David lives in Jerusalem where he teaches economic and business-related courses with a number of local colleges.

How to Cite
Starr-Glass, D. (2017). Troubling Metaphors and International Student Adjustment: Reflections from a Transnational Place. Journal of International Students, 7(4), 1126-1134. Retrieved from
Research Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)

Obs.: This plugin requires at least one statistics/report plugin to be enabled. If your statistics plugins provide more than one metric then please also select a main metric on the admin's site settings page and/or on the journal manager's settings pages.