INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN PURSUING HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE USA: A CASE STUDY AT TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY
Corresponding Author(s) : Dao Van Dan
UED Journal of Social Sciences, Humanities and Education,
Vol. 4 No. 3 (2014): UED JOURNAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, HUMANITIES AND EDUCATION
Attending a higher education program in the USA or in other English-speaking countries is a dream of many international students. Besides benefits of living and studying in the USA, they also have to deal with some challenges. The purpose of this study is to examine the perceptions of international students who live and study in the USA to pursue their degrees. Through purposeful sampling, three international students from different countries pursuing different academic programs at Texas Tech University (TTU) were selected as participants, in order to gain insights from their perspectives regarding difficulties that international students may face. Using the constant comparison method and open coding, data was gathered and triangulated from participant interviews, observations of participants’ student-life at TTU; documents collected from their courses and their programs and the researcher’s reflexive journals. Thematic findings revealed that international students dealt with difficulties in (1) language communication, (2) learning preferences, (3) cultural adaptation, (4) transportation, and (5) financial problems. It is believed that the significance of the research findings can be transferred to the similar context for international students living and studying in other host countries.
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