The presence of international students on the American campus brings numerous benefits, extending from the classroom environment to extracurricular activities. However, the adjustment process that international students go through is equally important to recognize and monitor. The purpose of this study was to understand the concept of a diversity competent institution by examining the elements that influence the level of involvement of the top administration in policies and practices regarding international students. The investigation setting was Southeastern Louisiana University, with a population of 247 international students. The qualitative approach consisted of sixteen in-depth interviews with top administrators, faculty and academic staff. Six factors that can potentially influence top administrators to be committed to international students were identified: the placement of international students within the mission of the university, the size of the international student population, the creation of a central office for international students, direct and visible involvement of top administration, the promotion and integration of international students on campus, and, effective allocation of funds for recruitment and retention of international students. The study demonstrates that although international students may be a visible population on the Southeastern Louisiana University campus, their needs are not always considered a priority by top administration.
|Keywords:||International Students, Globalization, Culture Shock, International Advisory Office, Diversity Competent Institution, Cultural Diversity, Cross-Cultural Communication|
Student, Communication Department, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA, USA
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