Essay on An Exploration Of International Student Athlete

Essay on An Exploration Of International Student Athlete

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The article I decided to read for this critique focused on an exploration of international student-athlete adjustment issues, particularly related to academic advising. Previous research on this subject had been centered on general advising of the entire student-athlete population. Implementing an extensive literature review of international student-athlete (ISA) transition issues and developmental advising, the researcher was able to create a table of suggested practices for academic advisors working with ISAs. While reading through the study, I found that I was unable to relate to the unique challenges faced by ISAs, because I am an American and never played collegiate athletics. However, I wrote my undergraduate thesis on the recruitment of student athletes and found this article interesting and insightful, despite my prior research on the overall population.
Upon examination, Newell (2015) discovered that “ISAs, in particular, struggle with loneliness and homesickness after moving to the United States” (p. 39). While this may be a significant challenge for ISAs, I don’t believe this population is alone in struggling with these issues after coming to college. Even though I’m in graduate school, I occasionally struggle with these issues as my parents are over five hours away. The study also mentions the importance of including social and psychological support services to ISAs. If these students never have the opportunity to reach out to peers on campus, they may continue feeling isolated and homesick which could start to negatively affect them in their academic and sport pursuits.
Another area of focus was that ISAs appeared to benefit from having a faculty mentor on campus. The author states, “establishment of formal mentor-m...


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...cessary to help with cultural adjustment. While all of the implications I have mentioned can and should be applied to all students at colleges and universities, it is imperative that student affairs professionals understand that ISAs are a sub-population within an already small population.
Overall, I found this article very interesting because I want to learn more about the culture of student-athletes on college campuses. This opened my eyes to the various ways that ISAs can be better served by their advisors and college communities, instead of lumping them into an already small subculture of student-athletes. I believe that in looking at advising recommendations for effective transitions, ISAs experiences can be made better and that researchers were able to gauge a pretty accurate description of how student affairs practitioners can better serve this population.

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