Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Martha Copp

Committee Members

Scott H. Beck, Wendell H. Hester


As the number of international students grows, the importance of understanding them grows also. This thesis analyzes in-depth interview data from 17 international students from 12 different countries at East Tennessee State University who discussed their experiences as international students. Findings show that they are willing to adjust to the new culture and a new educational system, but they are reluctant to assimilate further. After they obtain their education, most of them want to return to their home country with their degree to work, even though situations are often better in the United States. These students serve as cultural ambassadors, but they will not be permanent immigrants, which contradicts popular assumptions about international students who study in the United States.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Sociology Commons