Department or Program



The period since 1990 has been marked by an accelerated pace of globalization. As a consequence, the challenge of acculturation has been more noticeable than earlier periods, where migration occurred among more similar populations. The recent migration includes the highest levels of international student exchange, with the US being the top destination. Literature on globalization, multiculturalism and diversity in higher education does not address why institutions of higher education offer different resources and programming to their international students.

Interviews conducted with educational administrators at three small liberal arts colleges in the United States, with review of documents made available to the researcher by the colleges, form the core data that is analyzed and compared to interpret the approach each institution takes toward mediating international student challenges.

The thesis examines the data collected at each college to identify and explain how: 1.) student agency, 2.) awareness and understanding, and 3.) organizational structure and alignment, affect 4.) the institutional resources and programing made available to international students at college. Finally, a conceptual model, based on an analysis of the data is developed to explain how the interaction among these four variables, in turn, determines the outcomes and experiences of international students in college. The model is presented as a tool for the analysis of institutional variation in addressing international student challenges, as well as for improving resource development and programming at institutions of higher education.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Duina, Francesco

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file

Open Access

Available to all.