The impact of residence hall leadership on international students' cross-cultural adaptation
International students experience cross-cultural difficulties as they seek to adapt to U.S. campuses. Past research has indicated that residence halls can have both positive and negative impacts on students' educational experiences. Employing a qualitative phenomenological approach, this study explored the lived experiences of 13 international students and 20 residence hall leaders from three Midwestern colleges, exploring the impact that residence hall leaders have on the cross-cultural adaptation of international students. Results demonstrated that residence hall leaders can foster international students cross-cultural adaptation through providing useful information that helps the students to become familiar with and understand better the new environment. Residence hall leaders who provide meaningful personal conversation with international students can also contribute to their cross-cultural adaptation through conveying value and acceptance of the student into the residence hall community. Providing residence hall community activities that help build intercultural relationships, establish cultural support networks, and promote a sense of community foster such cross-cultural adaptation as well.
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