The Experiences of American International Students in a Large Irish University


  • Aileen O’Reilly Headstrong – The National Center for Youth Mental Health, Dublin, Ireland
  • Tina Hickey University College Dublin, Ireland
  • Dermot Ryan University College Dublin, Ireland



cross-cultural adjustement, international students, psychological wellbeing, sociocultural adaptation


Growing numbers of American students are travelling overseas to study abroad and enroll in full degree programs. Despite this trend, relatively little is known about the experiences of United States (U.S.) students abroad. The aim of this research was to examine the experiences of American international students in Ireland. Findings suggest that while U.S. students experience some adaptation problems, overall, they adapt well to studying in Ireland. Subtle differences in long-term and short-term international students’ levels of social support and academic satisfaction were also detected. This research has important practical implications for facilitating the adaption of U.S. students abroad. At a time when many governments and academic institutions are devising strategies to attract international students, this research is timely and necessary.

Author Biographies

Aileen O’Reilly, Headstrong – The National Center for Youth Mental Health, Dublin, Ireland

AILEEN O’REILLY is a research psychologist working as Planning and Evaluation Officer at Headstrong - The National Centre for Youth Mental Health in Ireland. She completed her PhD dissertation on the cross-cultural adaptation of international students in Ireland, and this research was funded by the IRCHSS. She has a keen interest in clinical and applied research, and her teaching interests include research methods, applied/social psychology and clinical psychology topics.

Tina Hickey, University College Dublin, Ireland

TINA HICKEY has published extensively in journal and book form in the areas of education, language learning and reading in a second language. Awarded a Government of Ireland Fellowship (2008), she has served as President of the Reading Association of Ireland, of which she was made an Honorary Lifetime Member in 2011. She is a board-member of IJBEB and JICB and is currently Scientist in Charge of a Marie Curie funded project in education.

Dermot Ryan, University College Dublin, Ireland

DERMOT RYAN, PhD, is a trainee psychologist with the Longford/Westmeath Psychology Service and the University College of Dublin Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. His PhD project was the first longitudinal psychosocial study of asylum seekers. His research interests include psychological adaptation among migrant populations and cultural competence in mental health services. He was a founding member of the Psychological Society of Ireland’s Culture and Ethnic Diversity Special Interest Group




How to Cite

O’Reilly, A., Hickey, T., & Ryan, D. (2015). The Experiences of American International Students in a Large Irish University. Journal of International Students, 5(1), 86–98.



Research Articles (English)