Abstract

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.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2019

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Cox, Thomas

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

College

College of Community Innovation and Education

Department

School of Teacher Education

Degree Program

Education; Higher Education

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0007667

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0007667

Language

English

Release Date

August 2019

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

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