Many international students find it difficult to make friends in their host countries and even at their host institutions. Elisabeth Gareis, Ed.D., associate professor of communication studies at Baruch College/City University of New York, investigated the study abroad experience of international students in southern and north-eastern US states. The study shows that 40% of students report having no close American friends and would like to have more interaction with their US peers. The number of relationships built with US citizens varies depending on the host region and on the home region of the international students: Those studying in southern states stated they had more, and more satisfying, friendships that those attending universities in the Northeast. Students from East Asia were least satisfied with the number and quality of friendships established during their study abroad.
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