Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Students, Foreign--Middle West--Social conditions; Students, Foreign--Middle West--Conduct of life;


The world is experiencing an increasing number of international students who leave their countries to study abroad. The value and benefit of studying abroad influences many students to go on this educational journey. Research conducted over the past 20 years indicates that studying abroad provides both rewarding and challenging experiences. For example, studying abroad exposes students to exciting new cultures and places, developing academic/language skills and gaining social and cultural exposures which in turn enrich their global experience (Geeraert et al., 2014; Lillyman & Bennett, 2014; Wu et al., 2015). However, studying abroad can also pose certain challenges, including loneliness, learning styles, language difficulties, cultural issues, social interaction with the host community, prejudice and discrimination (Al Murshidi, 2014; Lillyman & Bennett, 2014; Wu et al., 2015).

The purpose of this qualitative research study was to explore the unique experience of Saudi students who are studying English in the U.S. Specifically, the study aimed to examine the academic, social and culture experiences of Saudi students in the English language program at a Midwest University in the U.S. with a focus on the differences, successes, challenges, and/or difficulties among this group of students. The sample of research participants consisted of five students who enrolled at the program on August 22nd, 2016 or January 9th, 2017. This research used Creswell’s (2013) strategy to analyze qualitative data. The interview data was transcribed classified and interpreted into codes, then categories, and then generated themes. The findings showed that the students experienced both positive and negative outcomes related to their academic, social, and cultural experiences. In general, these students made grade very good progress in their study abroad journey as well as improved their personal growth.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Frank Kohler, Committee Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 165 pages)



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