Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Dr Laila McCloud

Academic Year



International students are essential to US higher education, bringing cultural, global, and economic growth to US institutions each year. Despite previous research explaining this population's adjustment barriers due to cultural and linguistic differences, this project paper investigated the lived experience of international students of color (ISC) in relation to racism, microaggression, sexism, classism, and linguicism that they experience in U.S. higher education. Thus, to fully understand the lived experience of international students of color in predominantly white institutions, four major tenets of critical race theory: racism is normal and not aberrational, white supremacy, counter storytelling, and intersectionality, were applied to understand how it impacted this marginalized population's sense of belonging on campus. As the literature review revealed challenges related to isolation, segregation, and feelings of inferiority due to faculty, staff, and peer attitudes, mandatory diversity training for faculty and staff is recommended to serve this population in higher education better. As a result, faculty and staff will be able to foster a more inclusive community for this population, allowing them to create a better sense of belonging on campus.