UBC Theses and Dissertations
International peers : perceptions of the host-national peers in a program designed to aid the adjustment of international students at the University of British Columbia Duthie, Myrna
Perceptions of the Host-National Peers in a Program Designed to Aid the Adjustment of International Students at the University of British Columbia Foreign students want and need social contact with people from the host country when they study abroad. The Counselling Psychology Department at the University of British Columbia has developed a peer program where Canadian students are paired with foreign students in an attempt to ease the feelings of loneliness and isolation which these foreign students often experience. This paper contains a review of related literature, a description of the peer program, an analysis of interviews with host-national participants and recommendations for improvements to the program. The literature review surveys the problems associated with foreign students on North American campuses, several theories of the adjustment process and programs designed to aid that adjustment. Some factors which help students adjust to a new environment are counselling and peer support. Host peers commented on how and why they became participants in the program. They revealed some of the problems associated with being a helping peer. The benefits they received from the program were many but they were able to identify several aspects of the program which could be changed to make the program more rewarding to themselves and to the foreign peers.
Item Citations and Data