Retaining international students : identifying the needs of international students attending Memorial University of Newfoundland

Parsons, Treena A. (2000) Retaining international students : identifying the needs of international students attending Memorial University of Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

International students have many challenges to face when studying abroad. They have to be prepared to deal with cultural, academic, and social differences. When recruiting international students, Canadian universities need to be cognizant of these challenges and the needs of students. Institutions that are aware of the needs of international students can provide the appropriate programs and services and thus increase the universities’ abilities to retain them. -- This study assessed the pre-entry and entry needs of undergraduate and graduate international students who were first time entrants to Memorial University of Newfoundland during the fall semester of 1997 and the winter semester of 1998. The aim of this research was to identify the needs of international students and to make recommendations to Memorial University and more specifically, the Office of Student Affairs and Services as to how these needs could be met. -- The sixty-five item questionnaire collected information concerning needs in the following categories: academic, social/cultural, housing, finances, and recruitment and retention. The focus of this study was to explore the similarities and differences of the needs of undergraduate and graduate international students. -- A total of sixty-five questionnaires were available for data analysis. The most notable findings indicated that undergraduate and graduate international students have similar needs. Both groups would like to have information about Canada, and the university they will be attending before they leave to study abroad. Once they arrive in Canada, graduate students rely on their supervisors and respective faculties to assist in their adjustment to their new environment, whereas undergraduate international students tend to rely on friends and family for support and assistance. Other similar needs included (a) being met at the airport, (b) attending an orientation session, (c) participating in a peer-pairing program and a host family program, (d) assistance with locating accommodations, (e) assignment of an academic advisor, (0 academic assistance specifically with written and oral communication, (g) the lack of work opportunities on campus. The majority of students came to Memorial University because of recommendations from family and friends, and they believed that prospective international Memorial University students should be provided with information concerning the culture of Newfoundland, the university, and the weather conditions.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/998
Item ID: 998
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 112-120
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 2000
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Students, Foreign--Newfoundland and Labrador; Student adjustment--Newfoundland and Labrador

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