Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




International student athletes (ISA’s) play an integral role among our nations university system. They diversify our colleges, provide our American students a chance to become familiar with other cultures, and they add intense value to our collegiate athletic programs. In order to maintain this diversity in our nation’s universities, we need to further understand the experiences of these student-athletes. It is inherent to provide international student-athletes with positive experiences as to fuel the globalization of sport.

This project is a small pilot study which focuses on male and female swimmers from Division I universities. It provides a closer look at the undertakings of student-athletes from a non-revenue sport with a vast international and club background. These athletes encounter similar circumstances when deciding to come to the United States, however different their backgrounds may be.

The findings of this project hope to inspire coaches and athletics departments to review their protocols. International student-athletes face obstacles such as language barriers, lack of knowledge of the university or university system, and culture shock. Because of these obstacles, university life becomes exponentially more complex than that of a domestic student athlete.

A holistic viewpoint is ultimately the best regarding international student athletes. Understanding that we must assist ISA’s just as much before they arrive for the first day of school is imperative.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.