The Duality of Persistence
Academic Enclaves and International Students' Aspirations to Stay in the U.S.
Keywords:belonging, international graduate students, student persistence, ethnic enclaves
International students have been a growing presence in U.S. higher education institutions for over a decade. Feelings of belonging play a crucial role in the adjustment of these students to campus life in American universities, and their conationals play a significant role in facilitating this adjustment process. However, the role of belonging and co-national communities in facilitating the persistence of international students toward and beyond degree attainment remains understudied. In our examination of the aspirations of 642 international students across 9 U.S. universities, we establish that stronger feelings of academic and social belonging are associated with a higher likelihood of aspiring to stay in the United States after graduation. In particular, we demonstrate the presence of an academic enclave effect wherein larger communities of co-nationals have a stronger influence on the aspirations of international students with low social belonging but does not affect the aspirations of socially well-integrated international students.
Anderman, L. H., & Freeman, T. M. (2004). Students’ Sense of Belonging in School. In P. R. Pintrich & M. L. Maehr (Eds.), Advances in Motivation and Achievement. Motivating Students, Improving Schools: The Legacy of Carol Midgley (Vol. 13, pp. 27–63). Elsevier.
Andersson, R., Musterd, S., & Galster, G. (2014). Neighbourhood Ethnic Composition and Employment Effects on Immigrant Incomes. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 40(5), 710–736.
Attinasi, L. C., Jr. (1989). Getting in: Mexican Americans’ Perceptions of University Attendance and the Implications for Freshman Year Persistence. Journal of Higher Education, 60(3), 247–277.
Ballinas, J. (2017). Where Are You From and Why Are You Here? Microaggressions, Racialization, and Mexican College Students in a New Destination. Sociological Inquiry, 87(2), 385–410. https://doi.org/10.1111/soin.12181
Bardhan, N., & Zhang, B. (2017). A Post/Decolonial View of Race and Identity Through the Narratives of U.S. International Students from the Global South. Communication Quarterly, 65(3), 285–306. https://doi.org/10.1080/01463373.2016.1237981
Bécares, L., & Nazroo, J. (2013). Social capital, ethnic density and mental health among ethnic minority people in England: A mixed-methods study. Ethnicity & Health, 18(6), 544–562. https://doi.org/10.1080/13557858.2013.828831
Bécares, L., Nazroo, J., & Stafford, M. (2009). The buffering effects of ethnic density on experienced racism and health. Health and Place, 15(3), 700–708. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2008.10.008
Becker, T. (1968). Patterns of Attitudinal Changes among Foreign Students. American Journal of Sociology, 73(4), 431–442. https://doi.org/10.1086/224504
Beine, M., Noël, R., & Ragot, L. (2014). Determinants of the international mobility of students. Economics of Education Review, 41(August), 40–54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.econedurev.2014.03.003
Bernstein, S., Diamond, R., McQuade, T. J., & Pousada, B. (2018). The Contribution of High-Skilled Immigrants to Innovation in the United States (Working Paper No. 3748). Stanford Graduate School of Business. https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/working-papers/contribution-high-skilled-immigrants-innovation-united-states
Berry, W. D., DeMerrit, J. H. R., & Esarey, J. (2010). Testing for Interaction in Binary Logit and Probit Models: Is a Product Term Essential? American Journal of Political Science, 54, 248–66.
Bersola, S. H., Stolzenberg, E. B., Fosnacht, K., & Love, J. (2014). Understanding Admitted Doctoral Students’ Institutional Choices: Student Experiences versus Faculty and Staff Perceptions. American Journal of Education, 120(4), 515–543. https://doi.org/10.1086/676923
Bouk, F. el, Vedder, P., & Poel, Y. te. (2013). The networking behavior of Moroccan and Turkish immigrant entrepreneurs in two Dutch neighborhoods: The role of ethnic density. Ethnicities, 13(6), 771–794. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468796812471131
Britton, D. M. (2017). Beyond the Chilly Climate: The Salience of Gender in Women’s Academic Careers. Gender & Society, 31(1), 5–27. https://doi.org/10.1177/0891243216681494
Cabrera, A. F., Nora, A., Terenzini, P. T., Pascarella, E., & Hagedorn, L. S. (1999). Campus Racial Climate and the Adjustment of Students to College: A Comparison between White Students and African-American Students. The Journal of Higher Education, 70(2), 134–160. https://doi.org/10.1080/00221546.1999.11780759
Chin, C. B. (2016). ‘We’ve got team spirit!’: Ethnic community building and Japanese American youth basketball leagues. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 39(6), 1070–1088. https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2015.1103878
Das-Munshi, J., Becares, L., Dewey, M. E., Stansfeld, S. A., & Prince, M. J. (2010). Understanding the effect of ethnic density on mental health: Multi-level investigation of survey data from England. British Medical Journal, 341, c5367. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c5367
Ecklund, E. H., Lincoln, A. E., & Tansey, C. (2012). Gender Segregation in Elite Academic Science. Gender & Society, 26(5), 693–717. https://doi.org/10.1177/0891243212451904
Gahungu, A. (2012). Integration of Foreign-Born Faculty in Academia: Foreignness as an Asset. International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, 6(1).
Garcia, G. A. (2016). Exploring student affairs professionals’ experiences with the campus racial climate at a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 9(1), 20–33. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0039199
Garcia, H. A., Garza, T., & Yeaton-Hromada, K. (2019). Do We Belong? A Conceptual Model for International Students’ Sense of Belonging in Community Colleges. Journal of International Students, 9(2), 460–487. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v9i2.669
George Mwangi, C. A. (2016). Exploring Sense of Belonging Among Black International Students at an HBCU. Journal of International Students, 6(4), 1015–1037.
Geven, S., Kalmijn, M., & Tubergen, T. (2016). The ethnic composition of schools and students’ problem behaviour in four European countries: The role of friends. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 42(9), 1473–1495.
Giddens, A. (1979). Agency, Structure. In Central Problems in Social Theory. University of California Press.
Gilardi, S., & Guglielmetti, C. (2011). University Life of Non-Traditional Students: Engagement Styles and Impact on Attrition. The Journal of Higher Education, 82(1), 33–53. https://doi.org/10.1080/00221546.2011.11779084
Gross, J. P. K., Torres, V., & Zerquera, D. (2013). Financial Aid and Attainment among Students in a State with Changing Demographics. Research in Higher Education, 54(4), 383–406. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11162-012-9276-1
Guo, S., & Chase, M. (2011). Internationalisation of higher education: Integrating international students into Canadian academic environment. Teaching in Higher Education, 16(3), 305–318. https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2010.546524
Hagedorn, L. S., & Lee, M.-C. (2005). International Community College Students: The Neglected Minority? In Online Submission. ERIC: Institution of Education Sciences. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED490516
Han, X., & Appelbaum, R. P. (2016). Will They Stay or Will They Go? : International STEM Students Are up for Grabs (p. 50). Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Han, X., Appelbaum, R. P., Stocking, G., & Gebbie, M. (2016). International STEM graduate student in the United States Survey 2015. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Science Research. http://doi.org/10.3886/E43668V1
Hatch, D. K., & Garcia, C. E. (2017). Academic Advising and the Persistence Intentions of Community College Students in their First Weeks in College. The Review of Higher Education, 40(3), 353–390. https://doi.org/10.1353/rhe.2017.0012
Hausmann, L. R. M., Schofield, J. W., & Woods, R. L. (2007). Sense of Belonging as a Predictor of Intentions to Persist Among African American and White First-Year College Students. Research in Higher Education, 48(7), 803–839. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11162-007-9052-9
Hermanowicz, J. C. (2004). The College Departure Process among the Academic Elite. Education and Urban Society, 37(1), 74–93. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013124504268069
Hikido, A. (2018). Entrepreneurship in South African township tourism: The impact of interracial social capital. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 41(14), 2580–2598. https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2017.1392026
Hoffman, M., Richmond, J., Morrow, J., & Salomone, K. (2002). Investigating “Sense of Belonging” in First-Year College Students. Journal of College Student Retention : Research, Theory & Practice, 4(3), 227–256. https://doi.org/10.2190/dryc-cxq9-jq8v-ht4v
Horne, S. V., Shuhui Lin, Anson, M., & Jacobson, W. (2018). Engagement, Satisfaction, And Belonging Of International Undergraduates At U.S. Research Universities. Journal of International Students, 8(1), 351–374. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1134313
Hurtado, S., & Carter, D. F. (1997). Effects of College Transition and Perceptions of the Campus Racial Climate on Latino College Students’ Sense of Belonging. Sociology of Education, 70(4), 324–345. https://doi.org/10.2307/2673270
Hurtado, S., Carter, D. F., & Spuler, A. (1996). Latino Student Transition To College: Assessing Difficulties and Factors in Successful College Adjustment. Research in Higher Education, 37(2), 135–157. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf01730113
Institute of International Education. (2018). International Scholar Data: Leading Places of Origin. https://www.iie.org:443/Research-and-Insights/Open-Doors/Data/International-Scholars/Places-of-Origin
Institute of International Education. (2019). Economic Impact of International Students. https://www.iie.org:443/en/Research-and-Insights/Open-Doors/Economic-Impact-of-International-Students
Johnson, D. R., Soldner, M., Leonard, J. B., Alvarez, P., Inkelas, K. K., Rowan-Kenyon, H. T., & Longerbeam, S. D. (2007). Examining Sense of Belonging Among First-Year Undergraduates From Different Racial/Ethnic Groups. Journal of College Student Development, 48(5), 525–542. https://doi.org/10.1353/csd.2007.0054
Kosta, E. B. (2019). Becoming Italian, becoming American: Ethnic affinity as a strategy of boundary making. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 42(5), 801–819. https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2018.1432871
Larivière, V., Ni, C., Gingras, Y., Cronin, B., & Sugimoto, C. R. (2013). Bibliometrics: Global gender disparities in science. Nature, 504(7479), 211. https://doi.org/10.1038/504211a
Lewallen, L. P., Crane, P. B., Letvak, S., Jones, E., & Hu, J. (2003). An Innovative Strategy To Enhance New Faculty Success. Nursing Education Perspectives, 24(5), 257–60.
Li, Y. L. (2018). First-generation immigrant women faculty’s workplace experiences in the US universities—Examples from China and Taiwan. Migration Studies, 0(0), 1–19.
Long, J. S., & Freese, J. (2014). Regression Models for Categorical Dependent Variables Using Stata. Stata Press.
Lulat, Y. G.-M., & Cordaro, J. (1984). International Students and Study-Abroad Programs: A Select Bibliography. Comparative Education Review, 28(2), 300–339. https://doi.org/10.1086/446436
Luo, J., & Jamieson-Drake, D. (2013). Examining the Educational Benefits of Interacting with International Students. Journal of International Students, 3(2), 85–101.
Maestas, R., Vaquera, G. S., & Zehr, L. M. (2007). Factors Impacting Sense of Belonging at a Hispanic-Serving Institution. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 6(3), 237–256. https://doi.org/10.1177/1538192707302801
Mize, T. D. (2016). Sexual Orientation in the Labor Market. American Sociological Review, 81(6), 1132–1160. https://doi.org/10.1177/0003122416674025
Mize, T. D. (2019). Best Practices for Estimating, Interpreting, and Presenting Nonlinear Interaction Effects. Sociological Science, 6, 81–117. https://doi.org/10.15195/v6.a4
Museus, S. D., Yi, V., & Saelua, N. (2017). The Impact of Culturally Engaging Campus Environments on Sense of Belonging. The Review of Higher Education, 40(2), 187–215. https://doi.org/10.1353/rhe.2017.0001
Mustillo, S. A., Lizardo, O. A., & McVeigh, R. M. (2018). Editors’ Comment: A Few Guidelines for Quantitative Submissions. American Sociological Review, 83, 1281–3.
Mwangi, C. A. G., Thelamour, B., Ezeofor, I., & Carpenter, A. (2018). “Black Elephant in the Room”: Black Students Contextualizing Campus Racial Climate Within US Racial Climate. Journal of College Student Development, 59(4), 456–474.
National Association of Foreign Student Advisers. (2018a, December 17). International Students Contribute to Our Economy and American Innovation. https://www.nafsa.org/Policy_and_Advocacy/Policy_Resources/Policy_Trends_and_Data/International_Students_Contribute_to_Our_Economy_and_American_Innovation/
National Association of Foreign Student Advisers. (2018b, December 17). NAFSA International Student Economic Value Tool. http://www.nafsa.org/Policy_and_Advocacy/Policy_Resources/Policy_Trends_and_Data/NAFSA_International_Student_Economic_Value_Tool/
Ong, M., Ko, L. T., & Hodari, A. (2016). Agency of women of color in STEM: Individual and institutional strategies for persistence and success. In E. H. Branch (Ed.), Pathways, potholes, and the persistence of women in science. Lexington Books.
Page, A. G. (2019). Ethnic enclaves transcending space Chinese international students’ social networks in a European University town. Asian Ethnicity, 20(4), 418–435. https://doi.org/10.1080/14631369.2019.1570816
Peltier, G. L., Laden, R., & Matranga, M. (2000). Student Persistence in College: A Review of Research. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, 1(4), 357–375. https://doi.org/10.2190/L4F7-4EF5-G2F1-Y8R3
Portes, A., & Jensen, L. (1987). What’s an Ethnic Enclave? The Case for Conceptual Clarity. American Sociological Review, 52(6), 768.
Portes, A., & Jensen, L. (1989). The enclave and the entrants: Patterns of ethnic enterprise in Miami before and after Mariel. American Sociological Review, 54(6), 929–949. https://doi.org/10.2307/2095716
Portes, A., & Manning, R. D. (1986). The Immigrant Enclave: Theory and Empirical Examples. In S. Olzak & J. Nagel (Eds.), Competitive Ethnic Relations. Academic Press.
Rhee, B.-S. (2008). Institutional Climate and Student Departure: A Multinomial Multilevel Modeling Approach. The Review of Higher Education, 31, 2.
Rosenberg, M., & McCullough, B. C. (1981). Mattering: Inferred Significance and Mental Health Among Adolescents. Research in Community & Mental Health, 2, 163–182.
Rosenzweig, M. R. (2006). Global wage differences and international student flows (Brookings Trade Forum). Brookings Institution Press. https://www.jstor.org/stable/25063205?pq-origsite=summon
Ruiz, N. G., & Budiman, A. (2018). Number of foreign college graduates staying in U.S. to work climbed again in 2017, but growth has slowed. Pew Research Center. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/07/25/number-of-foreign-college-graduates-staying-in-u-s-to-work-climbed-again-in-2017-but-growth-has-slowed/
Sax, L. (2001). Undergraduate science majors: Gender differences in who goes to graduate school. Review Of Higher Education, 24(2), 153–172.
Sewell, W. H. (1992). A Theory of Structure: Duality, Agency, and Transformation. American Journal of Sociology, 98(1), 1–29.
Shields, R. (2013). Globalization and International Student Mobility: A Network Analysis. Comparative Education Review, 57(4), 609–636. https://doi.org/10.1086/671752
Skachkova, P. (2007). Academic Careers of Immigrant Women Professors in the U.S. Higher Education: The International Journal of Higher Education and Educational Planning, 53(6), 697–738. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-005-1976-4
Strayhorn, T. L. (2008a). Fittin’ In: Do Diverse Interactions with Peers Affect Sense of Belonging for Black Men at Predominantly White Institutions? NASPA Journal, 45(4), 501–527. https://doi.org/10.2202/1949-6605.2009
Strayhorn, T. L. (2008b). Sentido de Pertenencia: A Hierarchical Analysis Predicting Sense of Belonging Among Latino College Students. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 7(4), 301–320. https://doi.org/10.1177/1538192708320474
Strayhorn, T. L. (2008c). The Role of Supportive Relationships in Facilitating African American Males’ Success in College. NASPA Journal, 45(1), 26–48. https://doi.org/10.2202/1949-6605.1906
Strayhorn, T. L. (2012). College Students’ Sense of Belonging: A Key to Educational Success for All Students. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203118924
Strayhorn, T. L., Long III, L. L., Kitchen, J. A., Williams, M. S., & Stenz, M. E. (2013). Academic and Social Barriers to Black and Latino Male Collegians’ Success in Engineering and Related STEM Fields. 120th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Atlanta, GA. https://commons.erau.edu/publication/295
Tierney, W. G. (1992). Official Encouragement, Institutional Discouragement: Minorities in Academe-The Native American Experience. Ablex. https://www.amazon.com/Official-Encouragement-Institutional-Discouragement-Academe/dp/0893919462
Tinto, V. (1975). Dropout from Higher Education: A Theoretical Synthesis of Recent Research. Review of Educational Research, 45(1), 89–125.
Tinto, V. (1988). Stages of Student Departure: Reflections on the Longitudinal Character of Student Leaving. The Journal of Higher Education, 59(4), 438–455. https://doi.org/10.2307/1981920
Toussaint-Comeau, M. (2008). Do ethnic enclaves and networks promote immigrant self-employment? Economic Perspectives, 32(4), 30.
Tremblay, K. (2005). Academic Mobility and Immigration. Journal of Studies in International Education, 9(3), 196–228. https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315305277618
Trice, A. G. (2004). Mixing It Up: International Graduate Students’ Social Interactions with American Students. Journal of College Student Development, 45(6), 671–687. https://doi.org/10.1353/csd.2004.0074
Urban, E., & Orbe, M. P. (2007). “The Syndrome of the Boiled Frog:” Exploring International Students on US Campuses as Co-Cultural Group Members. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 36(2), 117–138. https://doi.org/10.1080/17475750701478695
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (2018). SEVIS By The Numbers: Biannual Report on International Student Trends. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. https://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/byTheNumbersApr2018.pdf
Walton, G. M., & Cohen, G. L. (2007). A Question of Belonging: Race, Social Fit, and Achievement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(1), 82–96. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.52
Ward, K. M., & Zarate, M. E. (2015). The Influence of Campus Racial Climate on Graduate Student Attitudes About the Benefits of Diversity. The Review of Higher Education, 38(4), 589–617. https://doi.org/10.1353/rhe.2015.0034
Xu, Y. J. (2016). Aspirations and Application for Graduate Education: Gender Differences in Low-Participation STEM Disciplines. Research in Higher Education, 57(8), 913–942. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11162-016-9411-5
Yeo, H. T., Mendenhall, R., Harwood, S. A., & Huntt, M. B. (2019). Asian International Student and Asian American Student: Mistaken Identity and Racial Microaggressions. Journal of International Students, 9(1), 39–65. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v9i1.278
Yosso, T., Smith, W., Ceja, M., & Solórzano, D. (2009). Critical Race Theory, Racial Microaggressions, and Campus Racial Climate for Latina/o Undergraduates. Harvard Educational Review, 79(4), 659–690. https://doi.org/10.17763/haer.79.4.m6867014157m707l
Zhou, M. (1992). Chinatown: The Socioeconomic Potential of an Urban Enclave. Temple University Press.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of International Students
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
All published articles are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 Unported License.