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International students are choosing community colleges for reasons of affordability, easy access, and as a good place to start their education, especially if English is their second language. There is a deficiency of research surrounding this student population despite an increase in enrollment. With little representation of the ICCS in current literature and with institutions recognizing their value more than ever, an understanding of their experience is needed. This qualitative study sought to explore and understand the shared experience of the international college student enrolled in a large Midwestern urban community college. The method of data collection included personal interviews with international students currently enrolled in a large urban community college and faculty and staff practicing at that same institution. Interviews were examined for common themes and compared and contrasted with existing research and literature. The study answer questions like why international students chose to attend community college, where ICCS’ get support and information, and what are the barriers that challenge their success. Fresh information surrounding social integration was revealed, illuminating a disparity between faculty/staff perception and the ICCS experience. The findings may be of interest to professionals who work in the community college setting directly with international students and/or with students and staff who interact with ICCS.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Nasser Razek

Primary Advisor's Department

Counselor Education and Human Services


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