Work a Way Out: Breaking Monoethnic Isolation through On-Campus Employment


  • Mengwei Su Ohio University



Chinese international students, cross-cultural interaction, ESL learning, integration, on-campus employment


Since the global economic recession in 2008, Chinese undergraduate students have quickly risen to be the largest international student population in American colleges and universities, forming a monoethnic group that often isolates itself from domestic students on campuses. This study explores how twelve Chinese undergraduate students utilized on-campus employment as a means of engaging host nationals to improve language skills and engage in cross-cultural interactions. Thematic analysis affirms the efficacy of the university workplace as an educational space outside of the classroom. Based on these findings, various policy recommendations are proposed to improve the management of international student employees.

Author Biography

Mengwei Su, Ohio University

MENGWEI SU, PhD, is a recent graduate of the Patton College of Education at Ohio University. His major research interests lie in the area of campus internationalization through teaching, research, and outreach services. 




How to Cite

Su, M. (2018). Work a Way Out: Breaking Monoethnic Isolation through On-Campus Employment. Journal of International Students, 8(3), 1363–1385.



Research Articles (English)