Date of Award

6-2013

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Patrick H. Munley

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan Hovestadt

Third Advisor

Dr. Robbie Steward

Abstract

Despite the increasing presence of Saudi Arabian international college students in American higher education, the literature regarding the experience of Saudi students in the United States is limited. This qualitative study explored and described the lived experiences of 9 male Saudi Arabian international college students studying in the United States. All the participants had studied in the United States for at least 2 years and were regularly admitted international students at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Moustakas’s (1994) phenomenological data analysis approach guided the data collection and analysis. The participants shared their lived experiences and the meaning of those experiences through in-depth, semistructured interviews. Each participant had an initial face-to-face interview and a follow-up phone interview. The researcher audio taped all interviews, with permission of the participants, and transcribed each interview verbatim. The main objective of the study was to describe the lived experiences of the nine participants without making assumptions about the objective reality of those experiences.

This process resulted in an understanding of the meanings of being a male Saudi Arabian international college student as lived and described by the participants themselves. Five broad areas were identified from the phenomenological data analysis in relation to the Saudi students’ lived experiences as international students in the United States: (a) participants’ perceptions of the United States prior to and after studying in the United States; (b) participants’ experiences living and studying in the United States; (c) participants’ success strategies and strengths employed while studying in the United States; (d) participants’ experiences seeking and receiving support along with what, if any, barriers were experienced in terms of receiving support while studying in the United States; and (e) the possible impact that cross-cultural study experiences of male Saudi Arabian international college students in the United States had on these students’ cultural values and belief systems. These findings may have implications for higher education professionals and may contribute to the literature on cross-cultural education and international students’ adjustment issues

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Share

COinS