Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Educational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Dr. Simone Elias

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Dr. Linda Wilson-Jones

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Dr. Amy Barrios


As higher education leaders, it is vital to understand who is attending our schools and know how to provide the support they need. The number of Chinese international students studying abroad has increased by 600% over the last two decades. Higher education institution leaders need to understand this growing segment of their student population and meet their unique needs. Unfortunately, regional data is lacking concerning antecedent factors of acculturative stress for Chinese international students. The purpose of this narrative study was to understand Chinese international students’ perceptions of the factors, if any, that may lead to acculturative stress while attending a four-year public university in the southeastern United States. The research question was, How do Chinese international students understand their cultural and academic experiences at a public, four-year university in the southeastern United States? This study was based on an interpretive paradigm study. This narrative inquiry population included three Chinese international students enrolled full-time at a public, four-year university in the southeastern United States. The key conclusions were (a) university interactions in the southeastern United States are largely positive, with a few exceptions; (b) cultural differences have a powerful influence on Chinese international students’ acculturative experiences in the southeastern United States; (c) current political and social conditions in the United States are causing heightened stress among Chinese international students; and (d) language challenges are the single greatest stressor for Chinese international students in the southeastern United States.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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