A Horse of a Different Color? Reexamining International Students at Community Colleges in the USA and Canada
International students have become a growth area in community colleges in the USA and Canada. Broadly, this has been viewed as a microcosm of changes seen at all levels of higher education related to globalization. However, there are reasons to suggest that this phenomenon deserves greater attention. Community colleges occupy a distinct role in higher education systems, and their international students can also be viewed this way, as somewhat of a “horse of a different color” from their counterparts in universities. To be sure, international student mobility shares commonalities across tertiary providers, but the aim of this chapter is to highlight ways that the community college context generates unique conditions for international students worthy of further research. This is undertaken in this chapter by focusing on three lines of inquiry, pertaining to international students’ backgrounds, their academic and social experiences, and their pathways through and beyond these institutions. Throughout, examples are drawn from existing research in both the Canadian and American contexts, with some reference to informational interviews conducted with college personnel working in the two countries. Although further research might focus on articulating cross-national differences between these contexts in greater depth, the aim of this chapter is to draw attention to the transnational dimensions of this phenomenon. Paying more attention to international students in community colleges may not just improve these students’ experiences, but also shed more light on the course of internationalization as it has advanced in different tiers of higher education.
KeywordsInternational students Internationalization Differentiation Academic and social integration Equity
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