Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 2 - 24

the food they want and with the proper
preparation. Food was so important to international students in our study that negative
experiences with dining influenced some of
them to move off campus.
	
Finally, we recommend a deeper examination of the role of food and dining services
in international students' collegiate experiences. We often discount the importance of food,
but, as stated by participants, food is reflective of home. Thus, scholars should consider
conducting more research on dining services
and food options in order to provide additional insights for housing and dining services
professionals. While we note several studies
that have explored aspects of this scholarship
(Alakaam & Willyard, 2020; Amos & Lordly,
2014; Edwards et al., 2010), they are often
conducted by nutrition and health services
scholars; we recommend more research that
focuses on international students, food, and
dining within the context of higher education
and student affairs. A mixed-methods approach utilizing both qualitative and quantitative methods could measure student perceptions, as well as provide answers to research
questions regarding satisfaction or retention
in campus housing. Larger sample sizes
would also further illuminate the on-campus
dining experiences of international students.
In addition, we call for researchers to critically

REFERENCES
Alakaam, A., & Willyard, A. (2020). Eating habits
and dietary acculturation effects among international college students in the United States.
AIMS Public Health, 7(2), 228-240.
Amos, S., & Lordly, D. (2014). Picture this: A
photovoice study of international students'
food experience in Canada. Canadian Journal
of Dietary Practice and Research, 75(2), 59-63.

examine how reshaping policies and practices
can potentially improve food and dining for
international students.

CONCLUSION
Understanding the food of a country is essential to understanding its culture (Corcoran,
2018), and international students face both
a cultural and dietary transition after they
arrive on U.S. campuses. The findings from
this study illuminate the experiences of international students while they adjust to eating
on campus in their new U.S. context. Many of
them felt dissatisfaction with both the quality
of the food served in campus dining locations
and the variety of the offerings, often relying
on familiar foods to meet their needs. Some
students described how difficult it was to adjust to campus food because of the taste, flavor, and preparation, while recalling their experiences with food in their home countries
as being vastly different. Most importantly,
these dining experiences influenced international students' decisions on where to live
once they were no longer required to live on
campus. Overall, it is imperative for researchers and practitioners to further examine how
to improve satisfaction with the on-campus
dining experience and potentially increase
the retention of international students living
on campus beyond their first year.

*

Andaleeb, S. S., & Caskey, A. (2007). Satisfaction
with food services: Insights from a college cafeteria. Journal of Foodservice Business Research,
10(2), 51-65.
Bowen, G. A. (2009). Document analysis as
a qualitative research method. Qualitative
Research Journal, 9(2), 27-40.
Corcoran, N. (2018). Exploring international
students' food choices using photovoice
techniques. Journal of International Students,
8(1), 175-193.
Volume 47, No. 2 * 2021

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