International Students in Higher Education: More Than a Fish Out of Water

International Students in Higher Education: More Than a Fish Out of Water

Kevin J. Martin (Virginia International University, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2145-7.ch002
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The world continues to experience rapid advances in technology and transportation that increasingly expand opportunities and accessibility for international students to study in ways that were not possible even a few decades ago. Such changes create both challenges and solutions for the modern higher education institution in the U.S. With the goal of higher education to work toward opening minds and creating a space for sharing and learning within an open and diverse learning community, it is imperative that international students be incorporated in a way that engages and invigorates the quality of learning on campus. Some of the challenges to this notion include a variety of learner variables influencing how international students integrate into the broader learning community. This chapter focuses on some of these variables impacting international students with an emphasis on the problems, potential solutions, and critical areas for future research.
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Several themes emerge from the literature on the internationalization of higher education including: the role of the HEI in internationalization, engagement of international students within the learning community, English as a reality in the modern HEI, the need to effectively incorporate cultural exchange as a new reality in the HEI, and the varied educational expectations and habits that international students bring to the learning experience. Because these themes affect and shape the reality of the modern higher education institution, they will be explored in depth. These chosen aspects are by no means the only ones worth considering; rather, they represent pressing ones in relation to these students. By better understanding the international student experience in the context of the US-based HEI, it is possible to better understand and address their needs.

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