Publication Date

Spring 5-1-2022

Document Type

Action research project: Open access

Degree Name

MA Higher Education Leadership


Leadership Studies


This study explores the feelings and opportunities that international students experience while they are studying abroad. Specifically, it investigates acculturation and adaptation to the host country, the students’ cultural identity and sense of belonging, as well as implications for support provided by the host institution.

In order to evaluate these components, an online survey, compiled of 24 open-ended and multiple-choice questions, was distributed to international students at the University of San Diego, asking them to describe their experiences and any indications of challenge and support from the institution in relation to their sense of belonging. The outcomes of this research include a deeper understanding of some of the challenges USD international students encounter, how their identity is affected because of it and what opportunities for the support the institution can provide.

Keywords: international student, identity, support, United States, culture, belonging