International students at German universities: Does social integration increase the sense of belonging?
Responsibility for Internationalisation
Theresa Maria Thies et al, Bavarian State Institute for HE Research & Planning, Germany
Single presentation - 30 Minutes
International students face particular challenges in their first year of study. A lack of social integration, language barriers and discrimination may hinder them to develop a sense of belonging to the university (SOB). The study investigates whether social contact with teachers, faculty (e.g., International Offices) and other students may increase the SOB for international students. Furthermore, it is explored whether participating in student groups and free time activities offered at the university can increase the SOB. The question will be examined using two waves (n=3.657) of a German panel study of 125 universities and universities of applied sciences. Preliminary results show that greater social contact and frequent participation in free time activities increase the SOB.