Challenges and Resilience of First-Year Chinese International Students on Academic Probation


  • Qi Huang Michigan State University
  • Desiree Baolian Qin Michigan State University
  • Jiayi Liu Michigan State University
  • Hye-Jin Park Michigan State University



Chinese international students, undergraduate students, resilience, academic probation, qualitative study


A substantial percentage of international students are placed on academic probation each year. This study explored the challenges and resilience characteristics of Chinese international students placed on academic probation in their first year of college. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine probationary Chinese international students, and the data were analyzed using a thematic analysis approach. The results indicated that challenges with daily routine, reduced adult supervision, inadequate academic preparation, and limited participation in the application process were the main factors that contributed to their academic probation. Proactivity, independence, and flexible thinking were important resilience characteristics that may have helped students cope positively with stresses relating to academic probation. Targeted institutional support could be strengthened. Implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are also discussed.

Author Biographies

Qi Huang, Michigan State University

QI HUANG, is a doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University in the United States. Her major research interests lie in the area of cultural and academic adaptation experiences of minority populations with a focus on Chinese international students’ mental health and well-being. Email:

Desiree Baolian Qin, Michigan State University

DESIREE BAOLIAN QIN, Ed.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University in the United States. Her research centers on the impact of immigration, culture, gender, SES, and important ecological contexts like family, peers, and school on adolescent and emerging adult development. Email:

Jiayi Liu, Michigan State University

JIAYI LIU, is a doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University in the United States. Her research interest centers on understanding Chinese family dynamics and the cultural beliefs, values, and practices behind daily family interactions. Email:

Hye-Jin Park, Michigan State University

HYE-JIN PARK, is a doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University in the United States. Her research interests focus on the role of immigration and culture on family relationships (e.g., role reversal parentification) and children’s developmental outcomes, specifically with Asian immigrant families. Email:


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How to Cite

Huang, Q., Qin, D. B., Liu, J., & Park, H.-J. (2023). Challenges and Resilience of First-Year Chinese International Students on Academic Probation. Journal of International Students, 14(1), 134–151.