Uneven Experiences: The Impact of Student-Faculty Interactions on International Students’ Sense of Belonging

  • Chris R. Glass Old Dominion University, United States
  • Elizabeth Kociolek Old Dominion University, United States
  • Rachawan Wongtrirat Old Dominion University, United States
  • R. Jason Lynch Old Dominion University, United States
  • Summer Cong Old Dominion University, United States
Keywords: international students, belonging, professors, faculty-student interactions, student success

Abstract

This study examines student-faculty interactions in which U.S. professors signal social inclusion or exclusion, facilitating–or inhibiting–international students’ academic goal pursuits. It compares narratives of 40 international students from four purposefully sampled subgroups – academic preparedness (low, high) and financial resources (low, high). Overall, international students’ interactions with professors were marked by joy, trust, anticipation, and surprise. Nonetheless, the narratives exhibit two significant sources of variation: narratives from the low financial resources, high academic preparedness subgroup reflected widely-varied experiences interacting with professors, and narratives from the low financial, low academic preparedness subgroup lacked any descriptions of positive student-faculty interactions.

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Author Biographies

Chris R. Glass, Old Dominion University, United States

CHRIS R. GLASS, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership at Old Dominion University. 

Elizabeth Kociolek, Old Dominion University, United States

ELIZABETH KOCIOLEK, MSED, is an Education Abroad Advisor in the UK Education Abroad office at the University of Kentucky. 

Rachawan Wongtrirat, Old Dominion University, United States

RACHAWAN WONGTRIRAT, PhD, is the Assistant Director for International Initiatives in the Office of Intercultural Relations at Old Dominion University. 

R. Jason Lynch, Old Dominion University, United States

R. JASON LYNCH, MSED, is a graduate research assistant in the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership at Old Dominion University. 

Summer Cong, Old Dominion University, United States

SUMMER CONG, MA, is a graduate research assistant in the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership at Old Dominion University.

Published
2015-10-01
How to Cite
Glass, C. R., Kociolek, E., Wongtrirat, R., Lynch, R. J., & Cong, S. (2015). Uneven Experiences: The Impact of Student-Faculty Interactions on International Students’ Sense of Belonging. Journal of International Students, 5(4), 353-367. Retrieved from https://www.ojed.org/index.php/jis/article/view/400
Section
Research Articles