Date of Award

Spring 4-15-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Dr. Peggy Hickman

Second Advisor

Dr. Bruce Campbell

Third Advisor

Dr. Ellen Skilton


In order to investigate the current status and challenges of Chinese international students studying and living in higher education institutions in the United States, and to explore strategies for integrating into the campus life in the United States, this study investigates the current status and challenges of Chinese students studying at a small, private, internationally focused university in the United States, in relation to cultural, linguistic, and academic adaptation. Data was collected through one-on-one interviews with students, faculty, and administrators, as well as observations both in daily courses and university-held social activities.

This study seeks to uncover the current perspectives of Chinese international learners and ways to help them adapt to the living and learning environment of American university campuses. This study investigates students’ own experiences and the challenges encountered by Chinese international students in adapting to American universities from multiple perspectives.

This study investigates the current situation, advantages, concerns, and challenges in relation to the impact of the academic, English language and cultural factors during Chinese international students' study abroad at American universities. Findings from this study may be relevant for both Chinese international students in the United States and Chinese students who are preparing to go to the U.S. for study abroad. At the same time, findings may also inform American university language institutes’ programs in language training, academic counseling, and social and acculturation support for Chinese international students.