Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication Studies

Department

Communication Studies

First Advisor

Guo-Ming Chen

Abstract

International students are a welcome addition to universities and colleges in the United States looking to diversify their student population and increase tuition revenue. Unfortunately, these students often experience great difficulty adjusting to their new environment. It is essential for faculty and administrators to understand the reasons why international student experience such difficulties and explore different ways of facilitating intercultural adjustment. The purpose of this study was to examine how the use of social network sites by international students affects their adjustment in several different sectors of campus life, including making social relationships, communication with university administration, and academic learning with instructors. An online questionnaire survey of 37 questions was distributed to the international student population at the University of Rhode Island. Results show that social network sites can aid in intercultural adjustment particularly in younger students and students who have lived in the United States for shorter periods of time.

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