Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Dr. Chasity Bailey-Fakhoury

Second Advisor

Dr. Laura O'Hara

Third Advisor

Dr. Ken Rabourn

Academic Year



International students face particular barriers when attending higher education in the United States, some of which could be due to misguided expectations of their experiences. This research study used Expectancy Violations Theory to explore the expectations of international students in their first semester in the United States. Using semi-structured interviews, this qualitative study found that participants create expectations for academics, relationships, culture, and lifestyle, and that these expectations are either met or violated, which results in differing experiences. These expectations were created both consciously and unconsciously and were sometimes a result of information found online or learned from other people. The violations of these expectations influence the experiences participants had in the United States.

Included in

Education Commons