Collaborative Teamwork to Facilitate Cross

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COLLABORATIVE TEAMWORK
to facilitate
CROSS-CULTURAL ADJUSTMENT
for
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
Chun-Chung Choi
Thomas Germain
Debra Anderson
International Initiative Team
Coordinator
Residence Life Coordinator
Director of International Student
Services
UF Counseling Center
UF Housing
UF International Center
OVERVIEW OF UF INTERNATIONAL STUDENT
POPULATION
 Total number of International Students:
5,764
 Female: 2,120
 Male: 3,554
 Undergraduate Students: 317
Main Major:
 Engineering
 Business, Management, Marketing &
Related Support
 Graduate Students: 3,847
 Biological & Biomedical Sciences
 Family Composition:
 Physical Sciences
 Married: 473
 Single: 4,521
 Agriculture
 Operations & Related Sciences
How did it all start?
 Passion of a few…
 Tradition at UF Housing, International Center, & Counseling Center not
coordinated
International Initiatives Team:
Who are we?
 UF International Center
 UF Police Department
 College of Engineering
 Career Resource Center
 Student Leader Representative
UF Department of Housing and Education
UF Counseling & Wellness Center
College of Business
UF Student Legal Services
Other Programing
• What collaborative programing do you have on your campus?
International Initiatives Team: Our
Approach
Consultation on needs of international students
 Informal Assessment---A panel of experts
 Monthly Meetings
 Constant Consultation within the group
 Formal Assessment---Survey
 Academic Needs
 Expectations and Experience Survey
The International Student Success Series
Workshops’ List
1.
2.
Academic expectation
"I don't want to live in the lab anymore": Finding balance between work, family and
leisure in the US.
3. Dating in the US
4. Understand American Slang
5. Communication across cultures
6. Do well in classes, what to prepare.
7. Too much to do, too little time? Time management
8. Too much pressure? Stress management
9. Readjustment: Home sweet home
10. Connecting with Americans and each other
11. Show me the money: Finding financial resources
12. Immigration
The International Student Success Series
Logistic
 Importance of timing:
 Lunch Time (food provided)
 Scheduling based on Class Periods
 Importance of Location:
 Central
 Familiar
 Get the experts involved-Bring the resources to the students
What have we learned?
 Establish commitment
 Branch out resources
 Sense of community and support
 Logistic, timing and advertisement are keys
 Coordination is critical
 Collaboration is on-going process
1.Needs Assessment
Findings
EXPECTATIONS SURVEY
Study Description
 Survey sent, via Student Voice, to 1,076 international students entering UF for
the first time for the fall semester. (Survey Response Rate: 38%/411
participants)
 25 questions addressing the following categories:
Demographic data
Students’ motivations to attend the institution
Expected student involvement
Expected academic achievement and challenges
 Survey designed with the collaboration of UF International Center and
Counseling and Wellness Center.
11
EXPECTATIONS SURVEY
Main Findings
 Getting Ready
 75% of the respondents reported that attending UF will be their first visit to the
United States.
 78.59% of respondents reported knowing students from their home country who
were already attending UF. 90.51% of them contacted those students prior to
their arrival.
 77% of participants reported at least a good level of English.
 Only 15% of the respondents reported taking a pre-departure class-workshop at their
home institution. 91% of those students, reflecting on this training, after a year,
thought it was helpful.
12
CONTINUED
 Campus Life and Involvement
 71.32% reported that they will be living off campus
 89.23% reported that the would probably get involved with a student
organization
 55.08% reported that English would not be a strong social barrier
How Important Do You Think Spending time with US Students will be to your success as a student?
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
Extremely
Important
Very
Moderately Slighty
Important Important Important
13
EXPECTATIONS SURVEY
Open Ended Questions Highlights
 Expected Challenges-Students’ Point of View
 Adaption to American Culture
 Food
 Adaptation to Academic and Institution Culture
 Navigating the Campus
 Making Friends
14
EXPECTATIONS SURVEY
Main Findings
 Academic Experience
Expected Grade after 1st year
A
B
C
D
 62% of respondents reported choosing UF
because of its academic reputation
 63.64% of participants anticipate few
challenges in class participation.
15
A FEE MORE STUDIES
•
Workshop interests
• Informal survey by Counseling and Wellness Center intern (Toska, 2007)
•
Graduate Advising study
• Rice, K., Choi, C.-C., Zhang, Y., Villegas, J., Ye, H., Anderson, D., Nesic, A, & Bigler,
M. (2009).
•
Acculturative stress and depression study
• Rice, K., Choi, C.-C., Zhang, Y., Morero, Y., & Anderson, D. (2012).
Future direction
A first look at Experience Survey
Findings
 One year after the International Student Expectations Survey, a one year
follow up assessment was conducted using the same students’ sample.
 The Goal was to compare expectations and experiences on this specific
student population to identify the main challenges that incoming
international students were facing during their first year.
A first look at Experience Survey
Findings
 70.06% of the respondents reported to have stayed in touch with students they
contacted prior to their arrival one year ago.
During your first year, with whom did you spend most of your time?
International
Students
Students from your
Home Country
Domestic Students
A first look at Experience Survey
Findings
What were the most challenging issues during your first year at UF?
Making Friends
Participating in Class
Being a Successful Student
Interacting with Domestic
Students
Acclimating to the Academic
Culture
Overcoming Language Barrier
A first look at Experience Survey Findings
How important do you think spending time with domestic students is to the success of International
Students?
Extremelly Important
Very Important
Moderately Important
Not Very Important
Not At All Important
A first look at Experience Survey
Other Key Findings
 64.97% of the respondents reported not being involved in student organizations
 98.73% of the respondents reported, after a year, an overall grade of B of higher
 Open ended Comments:
 Overall very satisfied with their first year experience at UF
 International Students are relying significantly on Academic Departments
 From students to students- Words of wisdom for future incoming students:
Get Involved on Campus
Ask Questions
Spend as much time as you can with Domestic Students
Make friends, make friends, make friends
Adjustment Issue: A Holistic Approach
The Role of Spouses/Partners
Are you eligible to work in the United
States?
Yes
No
Prefer not to answer
“Sometimes it's too boring, as F2 VISA holder, I cannot do
[anything] but household chores. Sometimes it's too
[frustrating].”
“I am a male, but issued an F2 visa, so it makes me ineligible
for working in the US. So I can by no means help my wife in
family economy.”
“I cannot attend certain classes or facilities such as
Recreational Centers or I have to pay for it.”
“I would like to have access to the gym at least sometime during
the week”
ADJUSTMENT ISSUE: A HOLISTIC APPROACH
THE ROLE OF SPOUSES/PARTNERS
I have an important role in the academic
success of my spouse or partner.
“I'm his emotional support. I try to do most of the things at
home so that he has more time…”
80%
70%
“[Being] mentally and emotionally supportive.”
60%
50%
“Indeed. My husband is working towards his PhD and I am
taking care of the kids... I am trying to make sure my husband
gets more time…”
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
Strongly
Agree
Agree
Neutral
On-Campus
Off-Campus
“Taking care of our son affords my wife the chance to attend
classes and work on her research.”
FUTURE DIRECTIONS: RECOMMENDATIONS
 Increase Initiatives for International Students and Domestic Student to
purposefully and intentionally interact
 Increase Initiatives for international students to connect outside the classroom
 Work more closely with academic departments to better provide support
during the students’ first year
 Keep creating programmatic efforts to help them connect with UF and
Community resources
 Create a holistic approach when it comes to international student adjustment
by addressing/help with their family’s needs
• Thank You for your Attention and Participation
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