Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Students, Foreign--Middle West--Public opinion; Students, Foreign--Social networks--Middle West; College students--Middle West--Attitudes;


The growing phenomenon of globalization has directly affected all levels of postsecondary institutions as evidenced by the strong emphasis colleges and universities place on internationalizing their campuses. Among the forthstanding efforts toward campus internationalization is attracting international students to American colleges and universities. Numbers of international students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities have indeed been very high, placing this country in the leading position for hosting students from abroad. Hhowever, the role international students play in the overall process of internationalization has rarely been addressed. While the presence of international students is believed to contribute significantly to the intellectual life of a university and provide a setting where American students learn to interact with people from different cultures, studies have found a lack of genuine interaction between non-international and international students (Altbach, 2002; Skolnikoff, 1993; Shoorman, 2000; Siaya & Hayward, 2003).

To develop a better understanding of the role of international students as perceived by American students, this study investigated the amount and nature of interactions between non-international and international students at a Midwestern comprehensive university and measured the attitudes of domestic students toward internationally diverse cultures and people. A sample of 724 non-international full-time students enrolled in the University during Fall 2005 completed an electronic survey that inquired about the amount and nature of interactions domestic students had with international students since the beginning of the semester and measured the universal-diverse orientation employing the M-GUDS-S instrument (Fuertes, Miville, Mohr, Sedlacek, & Gretchen, 2000).A variety of quantitative techniques was used to analyze the data.

Results of the survey revealed that most non-international students do interact with international students during the academic semester. The interactions between international and non-international students take place primarily at on-campus locations, mainly in class. Conversations between the two are most likely to last less than 30 minutes and occur from one to three times a week. Fifth year seniors and graduate students have significantly more contact with international students. They also talk to international students longer and more frequently compared to their counterparts in lower years of school. Results of the attitude analysis indicated that, overall, students at a Midwestern comprehensive university have supportive attitudes toward international diversity. Significant variations in attitude scores were observed in relation to participants' gender, academic major, age, size of home community, and ethnicity. A statistically significant positive correlation was found between the amount of contact with international students and domestic students' attitudes toward international diversity. Theoretical implications and recommendations for practice drawn from the study findings were discussed.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Radhi Al-Mabuk, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (ix, 133 pages)



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