Interpersonal Relationship between International Students and Local Students in the U.S Colleges


Interpersonal Relationship between International Students andLocal Students in the U.S Colleges

Therequite a good number of international students in the U.S colleges.These students come from various countries as well as continents insearch of education in the United States. The topic of interpersonalrelationship between International students and local students is awide topic. There is a mixed reaction on this topic basically interms of how the international students relate with the localstudents in the U.S. Various aspects such as social, educational andcultural impacts apply to this topic. This has a great impact on boththe students (both international as well as local) and the learninginstitutions at large. International students have been seen tocontact themselves differently compared to local students in terms ofsocial networks, friendship as well as various interactions. Being aninternational student, I have done an extensive research on how localstudents interact with the international students.

Despitethe fact that many researchers and studies show that internationalstudents seem to exclude themselves from the local students, mypersonal experience of this theory is not so true. I am aninternational student in one of the colleges in the United States andI can say from experience that my interpersonal relationship with thelocal students is superb. I have been studying in this college foralmost six months now and my interaction with the domestic studentsis so good. However, during the past six months that I have beenhere, I have realized that most domestic students do not initiate therelationship with the international students. This has made theinternational students tend to fear to associate with the localstudents. Most of the relationships are initiated by theinternational students. My best friend here at the college is a localstudent and I’m so comfortable with her even though it is I who hadto initiate the relationship. It is found out by many researchersthat most international students crave for interpersonal relationshipwith the local students but since the host students do not show anyinterest in initiating the relationship, the international studentsend up grouping themselves with other international students. In mostcases, one will find very minimal cases of inter-cultural as wellinternational relationships between students in the U.S colleges.According to Colleen Ward, most international students desire to haveinterpersonal relationship with the local students. Nevertheless,this rarely happens since local students have no interest ininitiating the relationship (Colleen par).

Bothinternational as well as local students in the U.S colleges see theissue of interpersonal relationship between them as a responsibilityto the colleges and not a personal responsibility. This means thatlearning institutions in the U.S must come up with various ways inwhich international and local students can interact without anydifficulties. International students tend to think that their hoststudents and even institutions segregate them for various reasons.This is why you will find most international students havinginterpersonal relationship between themselves and not with the localstudents. This has led to very poor inter-cultural relations betweeninternational students and local students (Colleen par). The natureof the interpersonal relationship between these two groups ofstudents is therefore very poor. For instance, according to Trice andElliot, it is shown that a good percentage (82%) of students whostudy in the U.S from Japan socialize with their Japanese studentsand not local students. It is therefore seen that internationalstudents only co-habit with other international students and notlocal students.

Variouscomprehensive studies have also shown that local students interactwith international students for the educational as well aspsychological benefits for the international students and notinterpersonal relationships (Colleen par). This has brought up theissue of being isolated socially for the international students. Theydo not feel at home in these learning institutions because of the waythe local students treat them. However, this can be overcome if thecolleges are willing to integrate various inter-cultural studies andhelp the international students and local students relate without anyhardships.


Fromthe above research, it can be seen that the number of internationalstudents in the U.S colleges is so high. This is so beneficial to thegovernment in economic terms. Nevertheless, much has to be done oninterpersonal relationship between international students and localstudents in learning institutions. This will increase the number ofinternational students even more thus being a positive impact on theU.S colleges as well as the government at large. Local students needto learn how to initiate relationships with their internationalstudents so as to make them feel at home. This will enable theinternational students not to feel discriminated in any way. Goodinterpersonal relationship between local students and internationalstudents is a vital aspect to the U.S colleges and the community atlarge.

Works Cited

Colleen,Ward. The impact of international students on domestic studentsand host institutions. Web. 15 April. 2001.