Undergraduate Arab International Students' Adjustment to U.S. Universities

Hazza M. Abu Rabia


The adjustment process and issues of 16 Arab international students enrolled at two universities in the Northeast of the United States were examined through this qualitative, exploratory study. The participants were from Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and United Arab Emirates and had been in the US for 2 to 5 years. In-depth interviews were employed to document and analyze the experiences and challenges of these students on U.S. campuses. One-on-one interviews with the participants revealed multiple factors obstructed Arab international students' academic success and limited their socialization within the context of their postsecondary institution, their host community, and their host nation. Several prevailing themes were discovered among the participants, including culture shock, language barrier, cultural differences, and isolation. While further research is needed, these findings suggest that specific programming and outreach by U.S higher education institutions could be implemented to assist Arab international students' adjustment to the academic and social environment of their host campus.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijhe.v6n1p131


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