International students at Alberta universities : perceptions and levels of satisfaction

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Calderwood, Denise
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 1993
International students in Canadian universities face an array of sometimes bewildering practical, cultural, academic, and social challenges. Many may not be fully prepared to cope with such challenges without some form of assistance from the university and surrounding community. Such students need assistance and support to face successfully the challenge of a new society and a new environment. It is therefore critical that the institutions admitting international students develop an understanding of what support and assistance can be offered that is most helpful and welcomed by the international student. In this study, undergraduate men and women, from the University of Lethbridge, the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta responded to a questionnaire consisting of thirty-two questions on a five-point lickert scale ("strongly disagree" to "strongly agree"). The questions were grouped into the following categories: first contact with Canada, arrival and orientation, assistance for international students, English language skills, housing and accommodation, academic assistance, and getting to know Canadians. An additional summative thirteen questions, some of which are open-ended, and eight demographic questions were also asked. Follow-up interviews were arranged with a subset of the questionnaire respondents. A total of 131 returned questionnaires and 32 personal interviews were available for data analysis. The most notable findings are as follows: (i) Higher levels (at or above 65%) of satisfaction were found in the areas of assistance requested from professors and fellow students, the teaching and content of their courses, fair treatment from professors, and making friends with and visiting in the homes of Canadians. (ii) Lower levels (at or below 45%) of satisfaction were found in the areas of assistance in obtaining suitable accommodation, the welcome and orientation at their university, time to discuss course work with professors, the lack of international content in their courses, the opportunity to get to know Canadian and other international students in a non-academic setting, and the experience of racism in Canada. This inquiry found that overall, 52.5% (68 students) were satisfied by the welcome and assistance they had received by the university and community.
viii, 103 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Students, Foreign -- Alberta -- Attitudes , Dissertations, Academic