Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Kortegast, Carrie A.

Second Advisor

Roth, Gene

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)


This qualitative study explored the impediments, social adjustments challenges, and classroom experiences of F-1 international students enrolled at community colleges in the Midwest region of the United States with at least one semester completed after their arrival. Through their respective accounts, the participants shared their positive and negative experiences about their respective host environments, struggles and challenges, acculturation, perseverance, and triumphs. The assertions and themes produced from the analysis of participant interviews provided salient insights into the experiences of the selected F-1 international students. Many of the participants while accommodating themselves to their respective community college environments struggled with issues related to language barriers, cultural dissonance, isolation, and alienation. The participants in this study revealed their initial assumptions and perspectives about their expectations at their college and how such experiences transformed their assumptions and perspectives during their course of study. Many participants of color in this study experienced various forms of microaggressions which sometimes triggered culture shock. Other participants endured acculturative stresses to mitigate against potential culture shock. In turn, these and other transformative learning experiences influenced the participants’ commitment to persevere and succeed in their quest to realize their educational and career aspirations.


177 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type