Awni Alkarzon

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Jeria, Jorge

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Higher education; Students; Foreign--Recruiting--United States--Case studies; Students; Foreign--United States--Attitudes--Case studies; Universities and colleges--United States--Admission--Case studies; College choice--United States--Case studies


The purpose of this qualitative case study was to identify the factors that influenced international students' decision to select the U.S. as their host country and Regional University (RU) as their host institution. The central research question of the study was: How did international students select the U.S. as their host country and RU as their host institution? The study used a snowball sampling technique to recruit 18 participants who were post graduate students at RU.;To understand the decision-making process of international students in selecting a host country and a host institution, this research study uses the push-pull factors as a framework to guide the study. The push factors function within home or sending countries and pull factors function within the host country and host institution (in this case, the U.S. and RU). This qualitative case study critically reviews related literature in order to fill the gap in the research by identifying the factors that influence international students to select a host country and academic institution.;In this study, the data collection methods include semi-structured interviews, document analysis, demographic data, and scholar reflections. The participants were asked, in semi-structured interviews, to describe how they selected the U.S. as their host country and RU as their host institution, what challenges they confronted during the recruitment and decision- making process, and what factors influenced their final decision. Data analysis reveals the factors that influenced participants' decision to select the U.S. as their host country and RU as their host institution. These factors are: education system in home country, educational agencies and information centers, women's dreams vs. social restrictions, higher education in the U.S., English language, culture, environment, and economy of the U.S., visa process, geographic proximity and location, caring agents, technology (university website and social media), characteristics of host institution, safety, and faculty members (interaction and attraction).


Advisors: Jorge Jeria.||Committee members: LaVerne Gyant; Laura Johnson.


218 pages




Northern Illinois University

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