Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 9

Making a Home Abroad: Working with
Chinese International Students
The number of Chinese undergraduates on U.S. campuses has risen rapidly in recent
years – increasing 43 percent in the past year alone, according to the Open Doors
report for the academic year 2010-11. Their parents have invested a great deal in their
collegiate success, going through educational agencies for assistance with filling out
applications and selecting institutions; however, many students arrive without the
language and cultural skills necessary to successfully earn a degree once they are in
the U.S.
Many international students arrive for orientation with little English language
proficiency. They struggle with basic roommate conversations and are lost during
lectures. Those who were part of the recent influx of
Chinese students on campus are noted as being the group
struggling most acutely with this. In the study “Intercultural
Friendship: Effects of Home and Host Region,” published
in the National Communication Association’s Journal of
international
International and Intercultural Communication, author
students had
Elisabeth Gareis found that one in three international
no close U.S.
students had no close U.S. friends, and most are struggling
friends.
to integrate in American classrooms and residence halls.
These students indicated a desire to have more meaningful
relationships with U.S. students. In particular, students
from China and other East Asian locales reported that they had fewer friendships
than did other international student groups.

PHotos CoURtesy of monAsH UniveRsity

1 in 3

In terms of what can be done in the residence halls to encourage friendships
between Chinese and U.S. students, two schools of thought have emerged. One
believes that housing Chinese students together provides a safe space where they will
be with students from their home culture. Others would argue that these students
need to be immersed in American culture and should be assigned a domestic
roommate and spread out across campus in order to help them assimilate. Toni
Greenslade-Smith, director of housing services at The Ohio State University in
Columbus, explains their solution. “Typically we try to place an international student
with an in-state domestic student, which we hope affords them the opportunity to get
away from campus to a ‘home-like’ setting if they get homesick. If an international
student requests to live with another international student, we make an effort to
accommodate that request.”
Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, recently introduced a practice to honor
requests from specific programs to house international and domestic students
together. The first request came from the China Business Program, hosted by the
Farmer School of Business on campus, which prepares students to study abroad in
China. Also, there has been a request to house a particular group of students – those
participating in the American Culture and English (ACE) Program, an intensive
English-language program for international students – with domestic roommates.
In both instances, the hope is that international students will have more Englishlanguage interactions with their domestic roommates, thereby strengthening their
own language proficiency.
In general, all sources indicated that there is a place on their housing application
where students can indicate a preference for a roommate from another state or
country, and they do their best to honor those requests in the assignments process.
—Meagan Hagerty and Sarah Meaney
March + april 2013

9



Talking Stick - March/April 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Talking Stick - March/April 2013

Talking Stick - March/April 2013
Table of Contents
New Member Highlight
Vision
Just In
Your ACUHO-I
Transitions
Res Life
Facilities
Regroup
Calendar
A Fair Division of Space
Why They Stay
Conversations
First Takes
Reporting Out
New Members
Snapshot
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Intro
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Talking Stick - March/April 2013
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Cover2
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 1
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 2
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Table of Contents
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - New Member Highlight
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 5
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Vision
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 7
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Just In
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 9
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 10
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 11
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 12
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Your ACUHO-I
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 14
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Transitions
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 16
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 17
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Res Life
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 19
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 20
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Facilities
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 22
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 23
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Regroup
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 25
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 26
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Calendar
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - A Fair Division of Space
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 29
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 30
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 31
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 32
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 33
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 34
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 35
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Why They Stay
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 37
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 38
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 39
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 40
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 41
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 42
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 43
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Conversations
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 45
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 46
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - First Takes
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Reporting Out
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 49
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 50
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 51
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 52
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 53
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - New Members
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - 55
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Snapshot
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Cover3
Talking Stick - March/April 2013 - Cover4
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