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International Students' Housing Experience
cultural conflicts. This process could provide opportunities for international and domestic
students to understand each other's culture and proactively discuss potential
barriers they may experience; the agreement would also be helpful for discussion and
management of their cultural differences when conflicts arise in the future. RAs or
international student offices could also provide drop-in hours so that students can seek
additional support.
LIMITATIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH
Like other qualitative studies, this study had a small sample size. All the participants
in focus group sessions were cisgender female traditional-age international students
in one mid-Atlantic private institution. We caution against generalizing these findings
to other populations. In addition, participants were self-selected and thus might have
been more motivated and eager to adjust to the U.S. college experience than those who
did not participate, and the perspectives of the participants in this study may not represent
all international students. In addition, although the judges set aside their own
biases before the coding started and discussed the influence of their biases throughout
the process, their own housing experiences may still have influenced how they interpreted
the participants' statements and created domains, core ideas, and categories-
and they may have paid more attention to the data that confirmed their biases and
expectations. Lastly, in focus groups, some participants might not have shared their
thoughts as readily as they might have in an individual interview, and their statements
may have been influenced by other participants.
In terms of future research, it would be interesting to replicate this study with
a more diverse international student body. Additionally, formal program evaluation
of multicultural living-learning community programs would be beneficial to assess
how well they are accomplishing intended goals. A mixed-methods approach would
be particularly useful to assess outcomes quantitatively, as well as giving residents a
voice about what is working and how the program could be improved. It would also
be interesting to examine the perspectives of domestic students who participate in
such programs to examine how this participation impacts their cultural awareness and
maturity, cultural knowledge, and cross-cultural communication skills.
CONCLUSION
The present study adds to the limited literature on international students' experiences
of multicultural living-learning communities. By reviewing their unique experiences
in these communities, including the benefits and challenges of such an environment
and what facilitated international students' positive roommate relationships, residence
life professionals can develop culturally sensitive multicultural living-learning
community programs that will better meet international students' needs. 
66 The Journal of College and University Student Housing

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