Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs

Committee Chairperson

Orkideh Mohajeri, Ph.D.

Committee Member

James Tweedy, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Jacqueline S. Hodes, Ed.D.


The U.S.A. has the world’s largest international student population (Institute of International Education, 2019). While there is some research on the stressors and the impact those stressors have on the educational experiences of international students, there is very little research on the common practices around orientation and its efficiency. The traditional format of new student orientation, an event that happens for a day or two upon the arrival of the new international students, fails to address the needs of those students as well as it could. Rather, orientation should be presented as a gradual, progressive process that both the university and the international students undergo throughout a given semester. To this end, I propose a Three-Phase Orientation Process model that will follow the principles of Participatory Action Research, and hence emphasize on student involvement throughout the orientation process, of both the student and the university. This is an important topic to consider especially because of three main reasons. First, given the decline in international student enrolment in the U.S.A. over the past couple of years, universities focusing more on internationalization of the campus, creating global citizens, and facilitating a more positive adjustment and educational experience for international students. Second, when individuals are choosing to spend their time, money, and energy, while sacrificing a lot more, to go to a university in a country far from theirs, it is an obligation of the university to reflect the commitment. The final reason is that it is important for the university and the stakeholders to reflect on the purpose of education, and its power that stretches beyond borders.