Major Papers


international student, self-identity, ethnic identity


Studying abroad is increasingly becoming a popular choice for many students and their families. Pursuing a degree in a foreign country not only signifies academic achievements, but it also contributes significantly to their personal growth and life accomplishments. International students face the challenge of adapting to a new environment, managing life’s difficulties, and establishing connections within the host society.

Adjusting to this new environment, rebuilding their lives in an unfamiliar place, and successfully earning a degree in a foreign country all require a strong and mature personality. When international students accomplish these tasks, they undergo a process of self-renewal and self-identification. The pursuit of a degree abroad necessitates that international students undertake the challenge of “mastering a new language, adapting to a different culture, and adjusting to an unfamiliar academic environment” (Zhang, 2016, p 7). These challenges often lead to significant personal growth, fostering heightened focus on understanding cultural differences, increased tolerance for diversity, and the cultivation of greater individual responsibility (Zhang, 2016). This transformative journey makes them more resilient, boosts their self-efficacy, and ultimately shapes them into stronger and more mature individuals, paving the way for a successful life. This paper conducts an in-depth analysis of a wide range of research studies related to international students in order to examine the fundamental factors and processes influencing the self-identity of these students.

Primary Advisor

James Oloo

Program Reader

Clayton Smith

Degree Name

Master of Education



Document Type

Major Research Paper

Convocation Year