Caribbean students' experiences at one HBCU
King Gordon, Tandeca
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Although international students make up an important part of the diversity on American college and university campuses, there is very little understanding of their college experiences. The number of international students in the United States has increased by 72% in fifteen years, from 514,723 in 1999-2000 to 886,052 in 2013-2014 (Farrugia & Bhandari, 2014). This number includes undergraduate and graduate students to colleges and universities throughout the world. This study focused on international students from the Caribbean and their perceptions surrounding their college experiences in the United States. Interviews were conducted with undergraduate students between the ages of 18 and 24 who self-identified as international students from the Caribbean (male and female). The data revealed that international students from the Caribbean played a key role in their own acculturation process. The students shared their interest in connecting with other international students as well as non-Caribbean students on their campus. In addition the findings supported previous literature indicating that students acculturate at different levels and adjust differently than their peers. The study brings more awareness about Caribbean students’ experiences and academic success to college administrators, academic advisors, directors, faculty, and staff as they seek to bridge the gap between Caribbean students and their American peers within U.S. colleges and universities.
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