From Being to Becoming: An International Student’s Journey at Becoming an International Education Scholar
Keywords:autoethnography, international students, international higher education, student development, identity development
Framed as a critical autoethnography (Boylorn & Orbe, 2020), this study is a reflection on my personal and academic journey from ‘being’ an international student in the United States, to ‘becoming’ a scholar who studies issues of international student mobility. Through a comprehensive dataset comprised of self-reflection, personal communications, published and unpublished scholarly works, and presentations, I show how by being the Other and observing or experiencing issues of discrimination against international students, I transformed my scholarly identity and used my agency to bring attention to these issues.
Abu, A. (2021) Unpacking the master’s tools…Exploring epistemological disobedience In. A. Abu, P. Lumb, M. Mohebali, and A. I. Khan. Exploring tensions in decolonization of internationalization of higher education. Critical Internationalization Studies Network https://criticalinternationalization.net/2021/11/24/exploring-tensions-in-decolonization-of-internationalization-of-higher-education/
Adegboyega, A., Nkwonta, C., & Edward, J. (2020). Health insurance literacy among international college students: A qualitative analysis. Journal of International Students, 10(1), 50–68. DOI: https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v10i1.1097
Alexander, B. K. (2020). Critical autoethnography as intersectional praxis. A performative pedagogical interplay on bleeding borders of identity. In R. M. Boylorn & M. P. Orbe (Eds.), Critical Autoethnography: Intersecting Cultural Identities in Everyday Life (pp. 32–44). Taylor and Francis. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429330544-2
Ammigan, R. (2019). Institutional satisfaction and recommendation: What really matters to international students. Journal of International Students, 9(1), 262–281. DOI: https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v9i1.260
Bennett, J. B. (2000). The academy and hospitality. CrossCurrents, 50(1–2), 23–35.
Bennett, J. B. (2003). Academic Life: Hospitality, Ethics, and Spirituality. Anker.
Bishop, S. C. (2018). Undocumented storytellers: Narrating the immigrant rights movement. Oxford University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190917159.001.0001
Boylorn, R. M., & Orbe, M. P. (2020). Critical autoethnography: Intersecting cultural identities in everyday life. Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429330544
Campbell, T. A. (2015). A phenomenological study on international doctoral students’ acculturation experiences at a US university. Journal of International Students, 5(3), 285–299. DOI: https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v5i3.422
Castiello-Gutiérrez, S. (2021). Institutional funds of knowledge. SocArXiv (Preprint). https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/kmwvb DOI: https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/kmwvb
Castiello-Gutiérrez, S., & Li, X. (2020). We are more than your paycheck: The dehumanization of international students in the United States. Journal of International Students, 10(3), i–iv. DOI: https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v10i3.2676
Castiello-Gutiérrez, S., & Tozini, K. (2020). Universities as global villages: Supporting international students on campus. NAFSA Trends and Insights, December. https://www.nafsa.org/sites/default/files/media/document/trends-insights-december-2020.pdf
Cho, S. (2009). Disciplinary enculturation experiences of five East Asian doctoral students in US-based second language studies programmes. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 29(3), 295–310. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02188790903092795
Côté, J. E., & Levine, C. G. (2014). Identity, formation, agency, and culture: A social psychological synthesis. Psychology Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781410612199
De Verthelyi, R. F. (1995). International students’ spouses: Invisible sojourners in the culture shock literature. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 19(3), 387–411. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/0147-1767(95)00028-A
Dwyer, M. M. (2004). More is better: The impact of study abroad program duration. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 10(1), 151–164. DOI: https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v10i1.139
Edwards, A. (2011). Building common knowledge at the boundaries between professional practices: Relational agency and relational expertise in systems of distributed expertise. International Journal of Educational Research, 50(1), 33–39. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2011.04.007
Ellis, C. (2007). Telling secrets, revealing lives: Relational ethics in research with intimate others. Qualitative Inquiry, 13(1), 3–29. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800406294947
Ellis, C., Adams, T. E., & Bochner, A. P. (2011). Autoethnography: an overview. Historical Social Research/Historische Sozialforschung, 36(4(138)), 273–290.
Erichsen, E. A. (2009). Reinventing selves: International students’ conceptions of self and learning for transformation [University of Wyoming]. In ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.
Ermine, W. (2007). The ethical space of engagement. Indigenous Law Journal, 6(1), 193–203.
Galtung, J. (1980). The true worlds: a transnational perspective. Free Press.
George Mwangi, C. A. (2017). Partner positioning: examining international higher Education partnerships through a mutuality lens. The Review of Higher Education, 41(1), 33–60. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/rhe.2017.0032
George Mwangi, C. A., & Yao, C. W. (2021). U.S. higher education internationalization through an equity-driven lens: An analysis of concepts, history, and research. Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research, 36, 549–609. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-44007-7_11
Glass, C. R., Godwin, K. A., & Helms, R. M. (2021). Toward Greater Inclusion and Success: A New Compact for International Students. American Council on Education (ACE). https://www.acenet.edu/Documents/Intl-Students-Monograph.pdf
Gomes, C. (2015). Negotiating everyday life in Australia: Unpacking the parallel society inhabited by Asian international students through their social networks and entertainment media use. Journal of Youth Studies, 18(4), 515–536. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13676261.2014.992316
Gomes, C. (2020). Living in a Parallel Society. Journal of International Students, 10(1), xiii-xv DOI: https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v10i1.1850
Gomes, C., Berry, M., Alzougool, B., & Chang, S. (2014). Home away from home: International students and their identity-based social networks in Australia. Journal of International Students, 4(1), 2–15. DOI: https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v4i1.493
Gupta, A. (2021, February 24). Cash cows or campus community members?: The international student experience at UW. The Badger Herald. https://badgerherald.com/features/2021/02/24/cash-cows-or-campus-community-members-the-international-student-experience-at-uw/
Hao, R. N. (2020). Performing fortune cookie: An autoethnographic performance on diasporic hybridity. In R. M. Boylorn & M. P. Orbe (Eds.), Critical Autoethnography: Intersecting Cultural Identities in Everyday Life (pp. 45–56). Taylor and Francis. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429330544-3
Hernandez, K.-A. C., Ngunjiri, F. W., & Chang, H. (2015). Exploiting the margins in higher education: a collaborative autoethnography of three foreign-born female faculty of color. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 28(5), 533–551. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09518398.2014.933910
Holliday, A. (2017). PhD students, interculturality, reflexivity, community and internationalisation. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 38(3), 206–218. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2015.1134554
Hotta, J., & Ting-Toomey, S. (2013). Intercultural adjustment and friendship dialectics in international students: A qualitative study. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 37(5), 550–566. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2013.06.007
Hsieh, M.-H. (2006). Identity development of East Asian female international students with implications for second-language higher education. Education 127(1), 3.
Jensen, S. Q. (2011). Othering, identity formation and agency. Qualitative Studies, 2(2 SE-Articles in English), 63–78. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7146/qs.v2i2.5510
Jones, V., Kim, Y., & Ryu, W. (2020). Intersecting roles of authority and marginalization: International teaching assistants and research university power dynamics. Journal of International Students, 10(2), 483–500. DOI: https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v10i2.757
Kiyama, J. M., Lee, J. J., & Rhoades, G. (2012). A critical agency network model for building an integrated outreach program. Journal of Higher Education, 83(2), 276–303. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/jhe.2012.0009
Kuh, G. D. (2008). High impact practices. What are they, who has access to them and why they matter. Association of American Colleges and Universities.
Kumpoh, A. az-Z. A., Sulaiman, E. A., & Le Ha, P. (2021). Insights into Bruneian students’ transformative mobility experiences from their community outreach activities in Vietnam. Research in Comparative and International Education, 16(3), 228–251. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/17454999211038770
Landorf, H., Doscher, S., & Hardrick, J. (2018). Making global learning universal: Promoting inclusion and success for all students. Stylus
Leder, G. C., & Forgasz, H. J. (2004). Australian and international mature students: The daily challenges. Higher Education Research & Development, 23(2), 183–198. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0729436042000206654
Lee, J. J., & Castiello-Gutiérrez, S. (2019). Engaging international students at U.S. higher education institutions. In S. J. Quaye & S. R. Harper (Eds.), Student Engagement in Higher Education: Theoretical Perspectives and Practical Approaches for Diverse Populations (3rd ed., pp. 107–129). Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
Lee, J. J., & Rice, C. (2007). Welcome to America? International student perceptions of discrimination. Higher Education, 53(3), 381–409. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-005-4508-3
Leurs, K., Agirreazkuenaga, I., Smets, K., & Mevsimler, M. (2020). The politics and poetics of migrant narratives. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 23(5), 679–697. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1367549419896367
Liao, K. A., & Asis, M. (2020). Back to the Philippines: Connecting aspirations, return and social remittances in international student migration. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 29(3), 402–421. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0117196820964999
Lipura, S. J. D. (2021). Deconstructing the periphery: Korean degree-seeking students’ everyday transformations in and through India. Research in Comparative and International Education, 16(3), 252–275. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/17454999211038769
Marginson, S. (2014). Student self-formation in international education. Journal of Studies in International Education, 18(1), 6–22. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315313513036
Mathies, C., & Weimer, L. (2018). A changing narrative for international students?: The potential influence of Brexit and Trump. In D. Proctor & L. E. Rumbley (Eds.), The Future Agenda for Internationalization in Higher Education: Next Generation Insights into Research, Policy, and Practice (pp. 144–152). Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315266909-14
Medina–López–Portillo, A. (2004). Intercultural learning assessment: The link between program duration and the development of intercultural sensitivity. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 10, 179–200. https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v10i1.141 DOI: https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v10i1.141
Mezirow, J. (1997). Transformative learning: Theory to practice. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 1997(74), 5–12. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ace.7401
Moll, L. C., Amanti, C., Neff, D., & Gonzalez, N. (1992). Funds of knowledge for teaching: Using a qualitative approach to connect homes and classrooms. Theory into Practice, 31(2), 132–141. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00405849209543534
Namaste, N., & Sturgill, A. (2020). Mind the Gap: Framing Global Learning in the University Experience. Stylus
Nguyen, S. (2020). When the American dream becomes the American nightmare. https://email@example.com/when-the-american-dream-becomes-the-american-nightmare-f2f16e3e1bf5
Prigogine, I. (1980). From being to becoming: time and complexity in the physical sciences. W.H. Freeman.
Ramsay, S., Jones, E., & Barker, M. (2007). Relationship between adjustment and support types: Young and mature-aged local and international first year university students. Higher Education, 54(2), 247–265. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-006-9001-0
Rizvi, F. (2011). Theorizing student mobility in an era of globalization. Teachers and Teaching, 17(6), 693–701. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13540602.2011.625145
Rose-Redwood, C., & Rose-Redwood, R. (2017). Rethinking the politics of the international student experience in the age of Trump. Journal of International Students, 7(3), I–IX. DOI: https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v7i3.201
Saulon, M. (2020). Let’s treat international students as community members this fall, not cash cows. https://medium.com/@marjonsaulon/lets-treat-international-students-as-community-members-this-fall-not-cash-cows-9ec756011de
Saulon, M. (2021, March 12). I’m a child of immigrants. It’s often hard for us to speak up about hate crimes against us. The San Diego Union Tribune. https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/community-voices-project/story/2021-03-12/commentary-child-of-immigrants-hate-crimes
Sawir, E., Marginson, S., Deumert, A., Nyland, C., & Ramia, G. (2008). Loneliness and international students: An Australian study. Journal of Studies in International Education, 12(2), 148–180. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315307299699
Schmitt, M. T., Spears, R., & Branscombe, N. R. (2003). Constructing a minority group identity out of shared rejection: The case of international students. European Journal of Social Psychology, 33(1), 1–12. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.131
Sheppard, E. (2002). The spaces and times of globalization: place, scale, networks, and positionality. Economic geography, 78(3), 307-330. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/4140812
Sherry, M., Thomas, P., & Chui, W. H. (2010). International students: A vulnerable student population. Higher Education, 60(1), 33–46. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-009-9284-z
Terui, S. (2012). Second language learners’ coping strategy in conversations with native speakers. Journal of International Students, 2(2), 168–183. DOI: https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v2i2.530
Torres‐Olave, B., & Lee, J. J. (2020). Shifting positionalities across international locations: Embodied knowledge, time‐geography, and the polyvalence of privilege. Higher Education Quarterly, 74(2), 136–148. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/hequ.12216
Trahar, S. (2009). Beyond the story itself: Narrative inquiry and autoethnography in intercultural research in higher education. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 10(1), 1–21.
Tran, L. T., & Vu, T. T. P. (2018). ‘Agency in mobility’: towards a conceptualisation of international student agency in transnational mobility. Educational Review, 70(2), 167–187. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00131911.2017.1293615
Xu, L., & Grant, B. (2017). International doctoral students’ becoming: A dialogic perspective. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 54(6), 570–579. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14703297.2017.1318711
Yao, C. W., & Viggiano, T. (2019). Interest convergence and the commodification of international students and scholars in the United States. Journal Committed to Social Change on Race and Ethnicity, 5(1), 82–109. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15763/issn.2642-2387.2019.5.1.81-109
Zhou, J., & Cole, D. (2017). Comparing international and American students: involvement in college life and overall satisfaction. Higher Education, 73(5), 655–672. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-016-9982-2
Zhou, Y., Jindal-Snape, D., Topping, K., & Todman, J. (2008). Theoretical models of culture shock and adaptation in international students in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 33(1), 63–75. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03075070701794833
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.