COVID-19 and International Students: Examining Perceptions of Social Support, Financial Well-being, Psychological Stress, and University Response
AffiliationCenter for the Study of Higher Education, University of Arizona
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CitationTozini, K., & Castiello-Gutiérrez, S. (2022). COVID-19 and International Students: Examining Perceptions of Social Support, Financial Well-being, Psychological Stress, and University Response. Journal of College Student Development, 63(2), 134–150.
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AbstractAfter the COVID-19 pandemic forced higher education institutions in the US to transition to online instruction, a particular subpopulation of students was highly impacted: international students. This study was aimed at understanding the impact of COVID-19 on international students’ social support, financial well-being, and psychological stress. The following research questions guided the study: (a) In what ways, if any, did the experiences of undergraduate and graduate students differ across selected variables? (b) How did the impact of COVID-19 differ across place of residence in April 2020 (i.e., on campus, off campus, or home country)? and (c) How did students’ perceptions vary based on their funding source(s) for postsecondary education? Through 359 responses to a survey conducted at two large universities in the US, this study found that doctoral students reported higher social support in comparison to undergraduate students and that master’s students were more satisfied with the university’s decision to move to online instruction than bachelors’ students. Students with multiple sources of funding reported higher levels of financial well-being than students with one source of funding. However, no differences were found between students who stayed on campus and students who lived off campus or returned to their home countries. We also found no statistically significant differences in any of the variables between students who were self-funded and students who were not. This study suggests that different groups of international students deserve more attention from educational institutions in times of crisis, such as the one caused by the pandemic.
VersionFinal accepted manuscript