Article Review

Article Review




Most internationalstudents in U.S struggle in the process of adapting to the newculture, understanding a new way of life and learning a new language.Sato and Hodge’s article seeks to identify challenges faced byJapanese exchange student at an American University. The purpose oftheir study was to provide an overview of the experiences ofinternational students in their perspectives. They achieved theirobjective by applying a qualitative descriptive approach whereby asemi-structure questionnaire was administered to eight Japanesestudents and a one Chinese student in a one-year exchange program.The interview session were transcribed from an audiotaped sessionsand later analyzed for encoding. The study results were presented interms of professional negativity the relationship betweencollectivism positioned and individualism group isolation andcontribution of long distance to academic struggle.

According to theirfindings, learning is a social and cultural construct that cannot benarrowed down to an academic process only. How learners mentally andhow learning occurs are complex issues. Schuh and colleagues (2011)included the significance of Vygotsky`s sociocultural theory ineducation and suggested, from their perspective, that individual`scognitive function is not just derived from the social interaction,rather, the specific structure and process revealed by the personscan be traced to their interaction with others.

One of the strengthsof the article is that it provides evidence and support of sociallearning theory from students’ perspective. As students learn incertain social contexts and then internalize the way they learn, itcan be argued that international student come with cognitiveconstructs and learning habits from their previous environment. Fromsocial learning theory’s perception, Schuh and colleagues (2011)argue that individuals bring their own perspectives about therelationship between their behavior and the results of their actionsto their new social and cultural environments. Their discernments andexpectations of the new situation will be affected by their past. Insuch a case, it may be difficult for an international student todecide how to act and make sense of what is going on in a newenvironment.

However, since the significance of the study was to document thepersonal experience, it emphasized on the insightful stories of asmall sample of an international student. The sample of the study isnot a representative of all international graduate student in theUnited States a convenience purposive sampling technique were used.Therefore, the study results should not be generalized to the wholepopulation of international students, even though the study hasrevealed some commonalities in the experience. A gap in the study isto conduct a follow-up interview so as to gain more insight aboutinternational student experience with the passage of time.

This articleprovides certain implications for further studies and practice. Itgives voice to these international student and reflects theirexperience from their own perspective so that peers and the communitycan benefit from the study to enhance the learning and teachingenvironment as well as raising general awareness of the success andproblems of international student (Sato &amp Hodge, 2015). The studycan make a contribution to educators by assisting them comprehend theperspectives and expectation of international student as well as thecultural, social and academic struggles they experience in theirtransition to the university.


Sato, T. &amp Hodge, S. R. (2015). Japanese exchange student`sacademic and social struggles at an American university. Journal ofInternational Student, 5 (3): 208-227

Schuh, J. H., Jones, S. R., &amp Harper, S. R. (Eds.). (2011).Student services: A handbook for the profession (5th ed.). SanFrancisco: Jossey-Bass.