An increasing number of students choose to study at a university in a foreign country. A common belief among educators is that international students are insufficiently academically adjusted. Recent research has found a mixed picture on whether international students underperform in academic integration and academic performance. Therefore, Morrison et al. (2005) argue that research should extend its focus to understanding the underlying reasons for these performance differences of international versus local students.In a cross-institutional comparison among 871 students of five business schools, we investigated the differences in academic and social integration amongst local and international students. International students value their faculty and educational system more than local students. However, international and local students have limited social contact with each other and spend their private time differently. Finally, students with a non-Western background are less integrated than Western students, have considerable lower academic and social integration scores and have (marginally) lower grade point average (GPA) and European credit transfer system (ECTS) scores. Institutes with small classes and collaborative learning settings seem to provide a more favourable learning environment for international students.

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Rienties, B., Grohnert, T., Kommers, P., Niemantsverdriet, S., & Nijhuis, J. (2011). Academic and social integration of international and local students at five business schools, a cross-institutional comparison. In Building learning experiences in a changing world (pp. 121-137). Springer, Dordrecht.