Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs

Committee Chairperson

Dana Morrison, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jacqueline S. Hodes, Ed.D.

Committee Member

John Elmore, Ph.D.


This is a critical action research thesis proposal that explores international student sense of belonging at a United States University campus. As someone who has studied and lived abroad, I understand firsthand the importance of the relationships we foster and how having someone to lean on can be beneficial when you are in a new place. International students do everything in their power to come study in the United States, yet are met with endless barriers due to the laws the government has in place as well as the broader environment of higher education in U.S. society. They want to be here, and we want them to be here, so why is it that we cannot make the adaption process easier for them? This thesis looks at current events and research from the field, as well as historical data, to give insight into why these students might not have a sense of belonging. I then explore the different ways in which international students can foster a sense of belonging on an institution’s campus and propose an intervention for the university setting. My proposed intervention is a mentorship program, that will attempt to give international students that sense of belonging on a United States University campus.