Feeling Welcome with No “Buts”: Chinese Student Engagement in Residence Life

Jamie K. Chong, University of Dayton
Nasser Razek, University of Dayton

Article included in repository with permission of the publisher. For full issues of the journal or for information about submitting an article, see the publisher website.


College student personnel and administrators working in residence halls are expected to provide a positive learning environment where every student’s point of view is welcomed respectfully. Creating that learning community requires residence coordinators to understand the circumstances of all students providing the means of a safe engaging environment to all of them. College administrators have to come up with innovative techniques and strategies to accommodate and extend helping hands to these students. Social adjustment is tumultuous for first year international students especially for those living in residence halls. Yet, research focused specifically on international residents in this environment is lacking (Paltridge et al., 2010). A quantitative study conducted at a Midwestern, midsized private institution examined first year international students’ perception of racial climate, community, and diversity in residence halls and how their perception influences learning outcomes. A descriptive analysis of the data was conducted, and the results were compared to data collected from the American College and University Housing Satisfaction Survey to compare experiences between international and domestic students. With insights on international student perception, practitioners can tailor programming to engage them.