The purpose of this phenomenological inquiry was to explore how international undergraduate students enrolled in a first-year seminar (FYS) course perceived and described their academic experiences in a large, public university in the southeastern region of the United States. Guided by Schlossberg's (1984) 4 S Transition Model, this qualitative investigation was conducted through in-depth interviews with 10 international undergraduate students representing different countries and academic majors. The participants' narratives revealed that the academic experiences of international first-year students enrolled in the FYS course can be described as challenging, especially in terms of a) understanding U.S. higher education, b) establishing relationships with American peers, c) navigating academic differences, and d) perceiving the lack of institutional understanding. At the same time, the stories of these 10 students demonstrated that participation in the FYS course had an overall positive impact on students' academic experiences during the first year, especially in terms of a) developing academic skills and competencies, b) developing transferable skills and competencies, c) increased use of campus resources, and d) overall adjustment within the first year. The findings are discussed in relation to the relevant literature and recommendations for practice and future research are provided.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
School of Teacher Education
Education; Higher Education
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Krsmanovic, Masa, "The Stories of Transition: A Qualitative Exploration of International Undegraduate Students' Academic Experiences in First-Year Seminar Courses in the United States" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 6519.