Transitions and Adjustments of International Student-Athletes

Open Access
Bartolacci, Gina Marie
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr Dave Yukelson, Thesis Supervisor
  • David Yukelson, Thesis Supervisor
  • Stephen Jacob Piazza, Honors Advisor
  • Transitions
  • International Student-Athletes
The adjustment experiences of thirteen international student-athletes at Penn State University were examined through semi-structured qualitative interviews held with these students. Five intercollegiate head coaches with experience recruiting and coaching international student-athletes were also interviewed to gain their perspective. Theory triangulation was used to examine the data which revealed that their experience required adjustment in three areas: to new culture, to the overall college experience, and to their new athletic environment. The findings are discussed relative to current literature on international student-athletes. This study may benefit international-student athletes beginning their experience in the United States as well as coaches, teammates, and administrators whose interests are furthered by the retention and successful adjustment of these athletes.