Institutional Commitment to International Students and Their Needs: A Case Study at Southeastern Louisiana University

By Estera Pirosca.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp.87-100. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 976.638KB).

Estera Pirosca

Student, Communication Department, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA, USA

Estera Pirosca is an International Specialist at International Friendships, Inc, a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote friendship and hospitality for international students at The Ohio State University. She is also starting her Master of Public Administration at The Ohio State University. Estera obtained her Bachelor’s Degree at Southeastern Louisiana University in Organizational Communication. During her studies she wrote two research papers which explored the challenges international students face in American universities. Born and raised in Braila, Romania, Estera has a very cross- cultural background. Her current interests are in intercultural communication and cultural diversity training.

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