Jamie Chong Brown



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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). This mixed methods study assessed first year Chinese students perception of racial climate in the residence halls at a mid-sized, Midwestern private institution. The quantitative results indicated that the students’ perceptions of a positive racial climate directly impacted their personal and social learning outcomes. Students’ first impression of the hall environment impacted how they subsequently perceived the sense of community. The qualitative analysis revealed aspects of the social adjustment and help-seeking behavior of Chinese students, their perception of American culture and peers, and adjustment process to life in the U.S. Results suggest that the participants’ stringent high school experiences positively influenced their adjustment into residential hall living. Preferring informal interactions with peers to hall programs, students may not fully capture the learning opportunities that are intentionally offered for in the residence halls. With insights on Chinese student perception and experiences, practitioners can tailor programming and educational initiatives to engage them.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Nasser Razek

Primary Advisor's Department

Counselor Education and Human Services


Stander Symposium poster, student affairs, School of Education and Health Sciences


Arts and Humanities | Business | Education | Engineering | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Social and Behavioral Sciences

First Year Chinese Student Engagement in Residence Halls: A Mixed Methods Study