Bridging the Gap

By Haley Glazer, A. Cydney Hayes and Megan Yee

According to the Institute of International Education, the number of Chinese international students studying in the United States has more than quintupled since the early 2000s, yet American universities have only recently begun to address the need for more resources to help Chinese students acclimate to campus life. In particular, universities are struggling to tackle the question of how to bridge the gap between international and domestic students.

Universities have traditionally worked to “integrate” international students into the campus community, but there is now a shift towards encouraging engagement on campus from not only international students, but domestic students as well.

Bridging the gap between international students and domestic students has challenged administrators and educators for years. A 2012 study published by The Journal of International and Intercultural Communication found that 40 percent of international students in the United States did not have a single close American friend, a rate that was especially high for East Asian students. However, innovative programs and initiatives designed to combat cross-cultural integration issues are beginning to be introduced by administrators, faculty and students themselves.

Here, we highlight three universities with high Chinese international populations that are attempting to tackle this issue from three unique perspectives.

Faculty-focused education at Purdue University in Indiana (above).

Administrative programming the University of Iowa (above).

Student-led efforts at Indiana University at Bloomington (above).

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