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Author ORCID Identifier


Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Denise Ives

Second Advisor

Laura Valdiviezo

Third Advisor

Lorimer Leonard

Subject Categories

International and Comparative Education


In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of international students studying in the United States. According to Open Doors Data from the Institute of International Education, (IIE, 2017), Chinese students in particular are entering schools abroad at a younger age. However, most research on international students focuses on the experiences of university age students (Lee & Rice, 2007; Perkins, 2004). Research that examined the experiences of high school age international students is still limited (Fontana, 2015; Page, 2013). This qualitative study focuses on the experiences of three Chinese, female, international, high school students living in the United States. The research questions were: How do Chinese, female, international, high school students negotiate the experiences they have while in the United States? How do these students think international programs can best support international high school students living in the United States? This is an important area of research since this group faces unique challenges in high school as international students (Fontana, 2015; Page, 2013). The researcher used Grounded Theory as a method for data analysis and for generating a model to better understand these students’ experiences. The findings suggest that the participants were able to move towards integration into the US culture and achieve their goals of getting into a good university in the United States. At the same time, they were able to maintain their language and culture while living in residential life. Findings also highlight the process of adjustment and the students’ academic, social and residential life experiences. Finally, recommendations such as improving and expanding support services for international students in US high schools are given, so this demographic of students can have a positive and productive experience during their sojourn.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.