Muslim International Students in the United States
A Phenomenological Inquiry into the Experience of Identities
Keywords:higher education, identity, international student identity model, Muslim international students, stereotypes, Trump effect
This study explored how Muslim international students experience their religious, ethnic/racial, and gender identities prior to coming to the United States and as students in the midwestern United States using E. Kim’s (2012) International Student Identity model as a guiding framework. Three significant findings emerged from semi-structured interviews with 10 students who attended 4-year institutions in the midwestern United States: (a) religious difficulties of being Muslim and Islam as a flexible religion, (b) difficulties with racial constructs and ethnic stereotypes, and (c) gender difficulties of male/female interactions and perceptions of veiling. Based upon these findings, recommendations for higher education professionals, administrators, and policymakers are provided.
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