A growing and often-ignored population in colleges and universities is local international students. ?Local international students? (LIS) are defined as non-visiting-visa students who may be refugees, immigrants or other permanent residents, and possibly citizens, but who identify with another country, were raised in another country?s traditions, and were schooled for many years in another country. Regardless of their immigrant status, their commonality is unfamiliarity with the local country?s culture or specifically with its higher education culture. This population is seldom researched and faces many challenges which are often overlooked on college campuses.
This case study shares focus group research of students and knowledgeable faculty, staff and administrators describing students? perceived barriers to learning, and then practical institutional, classroom and co-curricular solutions.
The results can inform colleges and universities of the needs to address to support LIS students? academic success, of student services and academic responses to those needs, and of activities to involve LIS students in strengthening international education for all students.
Dr. Marlene Celia.
Dr. Marlene Celia Cohen is a professor of Communication and Director of the International Education Center at Prince George?s Community College, Maryland. She founded the county International Populations Network and consults with local and international organizations. She lives in the Washington D.C. area, is married and has one son.