“Mirroring Yourself”

Peer Mentor Circle Support for International Graduate Student Transitions

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v13i4.4746

Keywords:

transitions, internationalization, international graduate student, peer mentor circles

Abstract

Transitioning to graduate school in the United States presents many challenges for international students including culture shock, academic shock, language barriers, and homesickness. As universities continue to bring international students to their classrooms, it is imperative that they feel welcome and supported. To this end, a university in the Southwest United States employed a peer mentor circle program aimed at easing the transition for international graduate students as they began their programs. Using Schlossberg’s (2011) transition theory, this study examined the moving in and moving through phases of eight new international graduate students as they participated in the peer mentor circle program with six current international graduate students. The study provides insight into the moving in phase of new international graduate students and found that the peer mentor circle program eases transition to graduate school and fosters movement toward the moving through phase of the transition model.

Author Biographies

Brittany Hyden, Texas State University

Dr. Brittany Hyden is a lecturer in the Organization, Workforce, and Leadership studies program at Texas State University where she completed her master’s and doctorate degrees in Adult Education. Her research revolves around international graduate student support, adult study abroad, informal and nonformal learning, and learning through relationships.

Joellen Coryell, Texas State University

Joellen Coryell is Associate Dean for Educational Partnerships and Enrollment and Professor of Adult, Professional, and Community Education at Texas State University. Her research focuses on international cross-cultural adult and higher education and the investment in the professional development of adult educators and leaders.  

References

Abe, J., Talbot, D., & Greelhoed, R. J. (1998). Effects of a peer program on international student adjustment. Journal of College Student Development, 39(6), 539-546.

Aslanian, C. B., & Brickell, H. M. (1980). Americans in transition: Life changes as reasons for adult learning. College Entrance Examination Board.

Ambrose, L. (2003). Multiple mentoring: Discover alternatives to a one-on-one learning relationship. Healthcare Executive, 18(4), 58—60. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360902725017

Anderson, M. P., Goodman, J. P, & Schlossberg, N. K. E. (2011). Counseling adults in transition: Linking Schlossberg’s theory with practice in a diverse world. Springer.

Andrade, M. S. (2006). International students in English-speaking universities. Journal of Research in International Education, 5(2), 131—154. https://doi.org/10.1177/1475240906065589 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1475240906065589

Baba, Y., & Hosoda, M. (2014). Home away home: better understanding of the role of social support in predicting cross-cultural adjustment among international students. College Student Journal, 48(1), 1—15.

Bai, J. (2016). Perceived support as a predictor of acculturative stress among international students in the United States. Journal of International Students, 6(1), 93—106. DOI: https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v6i1.483

Bernard H. R., & Ryan, G. W. (2010). Analyzing qualitative data: Systematic approaches. SAGE.

Boxer, S. & Roach, S. (2018). International student graduation rate lags behind peer schools. The GW Hatchet. https://www.gwhatchet.com/2018/10/01/international-student-retention-lags-behind-peer-schools/

Bridges, W. (1980). Transitions. Addison-Wesley.

Brunsting, N. C., Smith, A. C., & Zachry, C. (2018). An academic and cultural transition course for international students: Efficacy and socio-emotional outcomes. Journal of International Students, 8(4), 1497—1521. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v8i4.213 DOI: https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v8i4.213

Caligiuri, P., DuBois, C. L. Z., Lundby, K. & Sinclair, E. A. (2020). Fostering international students’ sense of belonging and perceived social support through a semester-long experiential activity. Research in Comparative & International Education, 15(4), 357 – 370. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1745499920954311

Creswell, J. W. (2013). Qualitative inquiry & research design: Choosing among five approaches (3rd ed.). SAGE.

Dansky, K. H. (1996). The effect of group mentoring on career outcomes. Group & Organization Studies, 21(1), 5—21. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1059601196211002

Dao, T., Lee, D., & Chang, H. (2007). Acculturation level, perceived English fluency, perceived social support level, and depression among Taiwanese international students. College Student Journal, 41(2), 287 – 295.

Darwin, A. (2004). Characteristics ascribed to mentors by their mentees. In D. Clutterbuck & G. Lane (Eds.), The situational mentor (pp. 29 – 41). Gower.

Darwin, A. & Palmer, E. (2009). Mentoring circles in higher education. Higher Education Research & Development, 28(2), 125—136. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360902725017 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360902725017

Dennison, S. (2010). Peer mentoring: Untapped potential. Journal of Nursing Education, 49(6), 340-342. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3928/01484834-20100217-04

Duru, E. (2008). The predicative analysis of adjustment difficulties from loneliness, social support, and social connectedness. Turkish Journal of Psychology, 23(61),15—24.

Friday, N. (2018). A study of factors contributing to acculturation stress for international graduate students in a small non-profit graduate school (Publication No. 10838083) [Doctoral dissertation, Nova Southeastern University). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.

Glaser, N., Hall, R., & Halperin, S. (2006). Students supporting students: The effects of peer mentoring on the experiences of first year university students. Journal of the Australia and New Zealand Student Services Association, 27, 4—17. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/aeipt.150638 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ss.205

Gunn, F., Lee, S. H., & Steed, M. (2017). Student perceptions of benefits and challenges of peer mentoring programs: Divergent perspectives from mentors and mentees. Marketing Education Review, 27(1), 15-26. https://doi.org/10.1080/10528008.2016.1255560 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10528008.2016.1255560

Hadjioannou, S., Shelton, N. R., Fu, D., & Dhanarattigannon, J. (2007). The road to a doctoral degree: Co-travelers through a perilous passage. College Student Journal, 41(1), 167—177.

Hellsten, M., & Prescott, A. (2004). Learning at university: The international student experience. International Education Journal, 5(3), 344—351.

Hennik, M. M. (2014). Focus group discussions: Understanding qualitative research. Oxford.

Hofinger, R. J, & Feldmann, L. J. (2001). The role of the adult student in the classroom. Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Albuquerque, NM.

Hong, J. E. (2022). Korean female graduate students’ experiences in the United States: Recognizing and addressing their challenges. Journal of International Students, 12(3), 607 – 612. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v12i3.3835 DOI: https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v12i3.3835

Huizing, R. L. (2012). Mentoring together: A literature review of group mentoring. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 20(1), 27—5. https://doi.org/10.1080/13611267.2012.645599 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13611267.2012.645599

Hunter-Johnson, Y. (2016) Against all odds: Socio-cultural influence on nontraditional international learners pursuing higher education in the United States. In M. Boucouvalas, M. Avoseh, & V. Colón (Eds.), Proceedings of the Commission of International Adult Education Pre Conference of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education, (pp. 159—171.). Albuquerque, NM. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED581847.pdf

Institute of International Education. (2021). Open doors report. Institute of International Education Open Doors Report. https://opendoorsdata.org/data/international-students/academic-level/

Kuhn, C. & Castano, Z. (2016). Boosting the career development of postdocs with a peer-to-peer mentor circles program. Nature Biotechnology, 34(7), 781—783. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nbt.3631

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

Levinson, D. J. (1986). A conception of adult development. American Psychologist, 41(1), 3—13. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.41.1.3

MacCallum, J. & Beltman, S. (2003). Bridges and barriers in Australia’s youth mentoring programs. In F. Kochan & J. Pascarelli (Eds.), Reconstructing context, community and culture through mentoring: Global perspectives (pp. 73—103). Information Age Publishing.

Merriam, S. B. (2005). How adult life transitions foster learning and development. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 108, 3—13. https://doi.org/10.1002/ace.193 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ace.193

Mesidor, J. K., & Sly, K. F. (2016). Factors that contribute to the adjustment of international students. Journal of International Students, 6(1), 262—282. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v6i1.569 DOI: https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v6i1.569

Poyrazli, S., & Lopez, M. D. (2007). An exploratory study of perceived discrimination and homesickness: A comparison of international students and American students. The Journal of Psychology, 141(3), 263 – 280. https://doi.org/10.3200/JRLP.141.3.263-280 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3200/JRLP.141.3.263-280

Ravitch, S. M. & Carl, N. M. (2016). Qualitative research: Bridging the conceptual, theoretical, and methodological. SAGE.

Rienties, B., Beauseart, S., Grohnert, T., Niemantsverdriet, S. & Kommers, P. (2012). Understanding academic performance of international students: The role of ethnicity, academic and social integration. Higher Education, 63, 685—700. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-011-9468-1

Saldaña, J. (2016). The coding manual for qualitative researchers (3rd ed.). SAGE.

Schlossberg, N. K. (1991). Overwhelmed: Coping with life’s ups and downs. Lexington Books.

Schnieders, A. (2017). Mentoring circles: A new spin on timeless learning technique. Association for Talent Development. Association for Training Development. https://www.td.org/insights/mentoring-circles-a-new-spin-on-a-timeless-learning-technique

Shu, F., Ahmed, S. F., Pickett, M. L., Ayman, R., & McAbee, S. T. (2020). Social support perceptions, network characteristics, and international adjustment. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 74, 136 – 148. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2019.11.002 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2019.11.002

Simmons, J. (2011). Fostering a culture of inclusion: MIT takes a hard look at itself. The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, 21(12), 17—19.

Stake, R. (1995). The art of case study research. SAGE.

Telbis, N. M., Helgeson, L., & Kingsbury, C. (2014). International students’ confidence and academic success. Journal of International Students, 4(4), 330—341. DOI: https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v4i4.452

Tseng, W., & Newton, F. (2002). International students’ strategies for well-being. College Student Journal, 36, 591-597.

Yang, B., Teraoka, M., Eichenfield, G. A., & Audas, M. C. (1994). Meaningful relationships between Asian international and U.S. college students: A descriptive study. College Student Journal, 28, 108—115.

Zimmerman, S. (1995). Perceptions of intercultural communication competence and international student adaptation to an American campus. Communication Education, 44, 321—335. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03634529509379022

Downloads

Published

2022-12-20

How to Cite

Hyden, B., & Coryell, J. (2022). “Mirroring Yourself”: Peer Mentor Circle Support for International Graduate Student Transitions. Journal of International Students, 13(4), 261–279. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v13i4.4746

Issue

Section

Research Articles (English)

Categories