Composing the largest nationality of international students at American universities, Chinese undergraduate students in the United States have dramatically increased over the previous decade (Institute of International Education, 2014). Despite the extensive research on the challenges facing Chinese students in the American classroom, in-depth research on the residence hall socialization process for Chinese students remains lacking (Briguglio & Smith, 2012). This mixed methods study assessed first-year Chinese students’ perceptions of racial climate and community in residence halls at a mid-sized Midwestern private institution. Quantitative data indicated that the students’ attitude toward floor acceptance and racial harmony correlates with their perceived ability in diversity and interpersonal learning outcomes. Qualitative data identified the impact of high school preparation for Chinese student assimilation into residential hall living, their perception of American peers, and factors improving social adjustment. Results suggest that perceptions of a positive racial climate directly impact student personal and social outcomes.



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