International Students' Experiences at a Saudi University and Academic Leaders' Perceptions Regarding Them
This qualitative study addresses international students' experiences at a Saudi university to gain insight into the challenges these students encounter during their studies. The study also explores academic leaders' perceptions in supporting international students. The guiding theories behind this study include culture shock and socialization. I conducted interviews with 16 international students and 10 academic leaders at a university in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to gain an understanding of
... heir perspectives. The findings were then analyzed for common trends. The interviews showed that some students experienced greater culture shock than others, including language barriers, when coming from non-Arab countries, and women faced more challenges than men. Meanwhile, the academic leaders and faculty in this study appeared to understand international students' experiences. Despite the rise in international students attending Saudi universities on full scholarships, limited research has considered this unique student population. This study addresses this gap and discusses future directions. This paper discusses implications for higher-education personnel and international students. The paper recommends providing sufficient material to allow students to prepare for culture shock before coming to Saudi Arabia and making professors and personnel more available to students for support.