International students’ experiences with academic advising is worth studying
because the number of international students is growing significantly in the United States
of America (USA) even though studies show that, upon arrival, international students
experience cultural, social, academic, and psychological issues including homesickness,
anxiety, depression, and loneliness (Saha & Karpinski, 2016; Tseng & Newton, 2002). In
2016/2017, 1,078,822 international students enrolled in American colleges and
universities to pursue higher education (Institute of International Education [IIE], 2017).
Despite the growing number of international students in the USA, research has been
limited in the areas of academic advising and international students. Thus, with the
increasing number of international students coming to study in the USA, it is imperative
for American colleges and universities to be aware of their issues and needs.
The purpose of this interpretive qualitative study was to understand and describe
undergraduate international students’ experiences with academic advising. My primary
research question was: What are undergraduate international students’ experiences with
academic advising? Thirteen students from Asia, the Middle East, South America, and
Africa participated in this study, and their country of origins included India, China,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Bolivia, Brazil, Tanzania, and
Somalia. The data analysis for this exploratory study was guided by the constant
comparative method of analysis. Although a couple of the participants expressed
dissatisfaction with advising, the majority of the participants were satisfied with
academic advising. Overall, most participants appreciated the service and saw a need for
academic advisors for international students.