Date of Graduation

Spring 2015

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Business and Org Comm - Organizational Communications

Research Sponsor

Dr. Yang Lin

First Reader

Dr. Kathleen Clark

Second Reader

Dr. Sylvia White


This research project was conducted in order to investigate the current recruitment and assimilation processes experienced by international-student athletes at an NCAA Division I university, and to identify ways to improve those processes. The investigation was conducted through in-depth interviews with seven international student-athletes. The ages of these participants ranged from between 18 and 22 years old, 1 and 3 years of attendance at the University, and consisted of 5 females and 2 males. The participants play a variety of different sports, and each had a unique country of origin. The analysis revealed language, dietary changes, and social support are among various other themes experienced as difficulties for these students as they seek to make a transition into an American university. Suggestions such as greater coaching support, more focused university programming, and individual mindset changes are discussed further.