Student Voices: A Survey of International Undergraduate Students' First-Year Challenges at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

This study reports on the responses of 232 international undergraduate students at the University of Minnesota who answered a survey about the challenges they faced in their first semester on campus.  The survey questions focused on what made learning difficult, what major challenges international students recognized for students adjusting to studying at a large university, and what would help international students adjust more easily during their first year.  Answers to both multiple response and open-ended questions were analyzed and four main themes emerged from the data.  These themes include difficulties studying and learning in a second language, a lack of shared academic and classroom culture, feelings of isolation, and general cultural differences outside of academics.  Sub-themes are also identified and recommendations and resources for addressing the main challenges students identified are provided.


The University of Minnesota shall provide equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Report Content

  1. Abstract
  2. Background
  3. Methods
  4. Findings
  5. Discussion
  6. Recommendations
  7. Limitations and Directions for Future Research
  8. References

Contact

Beth Isensee
Director of Student Engagement, International Student and Scholar Services
612-626-7369
isen0021@umn.edu