Islam, Tolerance, and Globalization: What Study Abroad Research Can Tell Us About the Future of the Middle East
As far as religion goes, I am more attached to Islam and deep in myself, I feel the need to follow the laws that God sent the Prophet Muhammad…but in a way I am more moderate. I accept everyone’s freedom to preach the religion he likes.
— A Libyan student reflecting on his American university experience.
Foerster, S. W. (1981). The Effects of a U.S. Educational Experience on the Traditional Cultural Values of Libyan Students, p. 162
As an observer of the Middle East, I have long sensed that the region is changing. The forces of globalization — modern communication and transportation; the Internet, mass media, and entertainment; and global mobility — seem to be indelibly moving societies towards a greater sense of tolerance and global inclusion. Despite these promising trends, however, challenges remain. While economic hurdles are chief among them, more so than any other region, the Middle East represents the greatest challenge to the ideals of the West — that is, the political, religious, and personal freedoms and liberties that have shaped the globalized and technological world we know today.
Part and parcel of this global reality is the ability of students to study around the world. Over 100,000 students from the Middle East attend universities in the US, Europe, and Oceania, where they can not only gain the hard skills and mindsets critical for development and innovation in the 21st century, but also interact with and understand others in this new global reality. Therefore, questions are raised:
- Can study abroad — with its exposure of students to free society — serve as a vehicle to promote human rights in the Middle East?
- Do foreign study experiences promote a tolerance of others and their opinions?
- How does living in a new culture impact the religious and cultural identity of Middle Eastern students?
Unexpectedly, answers to these questions not only exist, but have been simmering for decades in academic journals, dissertations, books, and reports. American and Middle Eastern students and academics have also sought to understand the effects of student exchange, and have produced a vast and multidisciplinary literature related to it. Despite this, little information is available in the public domain, or synthesized to address the challenges of today’s world.
This post will present what I have learned from this research, to better inform not only questions about human rights, and Muslim identity in a globalized world, but also the role of student exchange as a tool to promote values. The insights learned are divided into broad themes, and summarized. These will be followed by a selection of quotations from study abroad literature that lend support to them. Lastly, based on this research, I have also compiled the largest bibliography related to Middle Eastern study abroad experiences.
Tolerance Begins at Home
Tolerance begins at home. This is a central lesson from the study abroad research. Students do not cease being who they are when they enter a new environment, they have a lifetime of experiences, impressions, preferences, and prejudices. Pre-existing attitudes shape student perceptions of the host country, and overall experiences. Introduction to a new culture can accentuate latent feelings or values, not necessarily create new ones. Students from the developing world who want to study in another country — whose quest for skills, knowledge, and advancement is so strong to want to move away from home — will necessarily represent a unique class of individuals within their society. Additionally, many of these students will already have a university education — itself a force that promotes changes in outlook. This is not to mention those who study abroad because of discontent with their society, and actively seek to gain broader experiences. All humans possess an orientation towards the world — study abroad experiences work with existing feelings, for better, or for worse. Family attitudes, demographic factors, global trends, and educational attainment shape personal values and outlook. The overall lesson being: Tolerance begins at home, not abroad.
New Mindsets and Personal Skills
Despite the above facts, study abroad and introduction into a new environment do shape students in key ways, often unconsciously. Students must confront new situations, and interact with new people. They slowly gain self-confidence, self-assurance in their own abilities, and feelings of self-worth. For women from traditional societies, new confidence is gained through living on their own. Interaction with strangers promotes a sense of trust and equality between humans (above theoretical notions of equality). Often these subtle forces — while not imposed — are great enough to affect perceptions towards traditional social structures and norms, and can be catalysts for change. Upon return home, the experience of self-reliance means that personal choices and aspirations take precedence over those of family or elders (while respect for them still remains). Cooperation and reaching out beyond social or family lines (a necessity during study abroad experiences) is normalized, which extends to friendlier and more egalitarian work relations between superiors and subordinates. Broad notions of social equality are formed. Based on this, favoritism (the reliance on family connections to procure a job) is lessened, and meritocracy is engendered. Therefore, in countries where wealth, social status, job prospects, and politics are determined by static, fixed conditions such as family or tribe (and concentrated in the hands of the few), these processes and new mindsets can culminate in discontent, and create desire for social and political change.
Democracy in the Classroom
Like the unconscious changes that take place simply due to a new environment, the Western educational experience functions similarly. The nature of student-teacher relationships, and classroom learning methods, differ markedly from the Middle East. A sense of equality with professors — even through routine mechanisms such as less stress on formal titles, office hours, and end-of-course evaluations — continue to build upon broad notions of social equality. A shift in learning from rote memorization, to critical thinking and questioning, have the potential to filter down to all areas of life. Group exercises and exchange of ideas in class foster collaboration and debate. The classroom builds upon general life experiences during study abroad to engender broad notions of democracy, equality, meritocracy, and critical inquiry that students wish to see replicated in their home countries.
Despite these vast changes in personal habits, values, and outlooks — the religious identity of Middle Eastern students changes very little as a direct result of study abroad experiences. Counterintuitively, religion plays a negligible role within the entire scheme of personal improvement and social change. While fluctuations in religious practice can occur (and are largely dependent on pre-existing conditions and attitudes), overall identification with Islam remains the same, or can even increase. While by no means a uniform experience, the freedom to research, discuss, and question Islam in the West — combined with cultural juxtapositions with the home environment — can increase attachment to religious identity. Often, new attitudes of critical thought, meritocracy, and social equality are equated with a purer Islamic ideal. Simply, religion seems to be psychologically compartmentalized — new attitudes and outlooks can be engendered, while overall religious identification remains the same. Research confirms observable trends: Among traditional Muslims, we are seeing the emergence of an Islam that accepts questioning, inquiry, academic debate, gender equality, and some notions of social tolerance, but one that firmly recognizes its possession of a socio-moral high ground. While many of these transformative processes and perceptions have only come about due to Western contact, these same experiences often transform Islam into a moral and social force, above and beyond a religious one. Therefore, Islam as a personal, and by deduction state identity, does not seem to be lessened by Western or global experiences. Though, it is no doubt being modified — like faith and religious identity across the world — in response to the realities of science and technology, global interconnection, and modernity. Contentions in the Middle East that Western study abroad experiences are serving to subvert religious and moral attitudes (at least in the long-term) are not broadly supported. Changes are no doubt happening, and in the process these will modify and change existing power and social structures in the region. Though, religion plays little role in this, and are rather the result of the broader, unconscious forces previously outlined.
American Foreign Policy
Appreciation for Western technology, work ethic, or education does not equate to endorsement of Western foreign policy. Moreover, there is little evidence to support the thesis that study abroad “creates a more peaceful world.” Because, such a claim cannot inform questions about national and religious identity; personal and moral values; or political allegiance — all of which are the basis of human culture and conflict. Nonetheless, study abroad experiences do decrease misunderstanding. They forge friendships, and open realistic lines of communication between people and countries — which is the basis of business, scientific, and political cooperation and dialogue. Study abroad research shows us that political differences will exist in a globalized and interconnected world (contrary to popular perceptions). States still matter, and are the ultimate arbiters of peace. Study abroad experiences enable the processes of peaceful, mutual coexistence between nations — not a sublimation of national, cultural, religious, or political identity.
Removal, Return, and Readjustment
Despite the new mindsets engendered by study abroad experiences — they must necessarily survive and be transplanted back into the home environment. Often, practical and psychological factors make this a challenge. Ideals of equality and meritocracy can fall hard upon the realities of local culture. While successes surely occur, study abroad returnees can feel professionally and culturally marginalized, and focus on personal goals over social change. Moreover, those who do seek broad changes can face difficulties in finding outlets for reform. In this case, Islam can be a force not only for reform and dissent, but also cultural identity (previous outlets for identity, such as family or Arab culture, can seem untenable after study abroad experiences). Islam represents a familiar part of culture that has the flexibility, resilience, and depth to accomodate the changes in habits and outlooks brought on by study abroad experiences, while having the broad social support to function as a vehicle for reform. This can help in part to understand the political rise of Western-educated, Muslim technocrats in the Middle East.
Morality and Culture are Geopolitical Issues
If a country seeks to impart its values — whether they are political values such as democracy and liberty; personal and cultural values; or work values — necessarily, it must confront how those values are actually perceived by others. Study abroad research does that very well, by highlighting not only what aspects of American culture are appreciated and adopted by foreigners — but also those that were rejected and deemed unsuitable for themselves, or their societies. Student testimonies demonstrate that American political values, and American cultural values, are not perceived synonymously. Tolerance and freedom can have a lasting effect upon study abroad participants. American mannerisms do not. Research, dating back to the 1950s (a social period idealized by Americans), shows broad discontent with American cultural values among foreign students (not only those from the Middle East). Americans are perceived as friendly, egalitarian, and hardworking. But they are also shallow in personal relationships; lack knowledge of other countries; have a tendency to treat friends (and by extension, nations) as means to an end, rather than respecting them in their own rights; and have disastrous family relations. Most Americans would not disagree. Discontent with American morality and family life is a close second behind the racial discrimination sometimes faced by foreign students during the pre-civil rights era. Study abroad research makes it clear that foreign students seek to take the best of Western technological and scientific skills and mindsets — and some political values — but few cultural values. Therefore, the conflation between American culture and American values — often made by those who work in international capacities — is a mistake. Every society seeks to define itself by those traits that give it a sense of superiority and worth, especially compared to others. For Americans, these are freedom, liberty, innovation, and progress. Lacking these, Middle Easterners necessarily identify with religion, or morality. Study abroad research makes it clear that not only is the West losing a battle with “morals” — but that foreign students do not see “freedom” and “progress” as substitutes for personal or moral identity. They are taking the best of American processes, and melding them to their own moral and cultural frameworks and worldviews. This goes beyond outward manifestations of morality, and includes the emotional depth of bonds in family and personal relationships, psychologically engendered by religious faith. This is not a mere sociological observation, but can affect how study abroad is approached by educational practitioners, and — in the context of the Middle East — even geopolitical relations. In this sphere, student perceptions between short-term and long-term exchanges can differ considerably. A broad lesson that comes across — despite being a cliche — is that Americans and Middle Easterners have much to learn from each other, but in different ways. However, the perceptions of foreign students — and their melding of different values — show the need for a new, and more formalized moral structure in American society and Western thought. Without moral competition, traditional religion in the Middle East will remain not only attractive, but a psychological necessity. American political values such as tolerance and freedom cannot fill that void — for ourselves, or others.
Beyond Globalization: Why Study Abroad Research Is Still Pertinent
Beyond values, study abroad must continue to play a central role in international engagement. Firstly, for its main purpose — to impart the skills needed for innovation and development. These are processes that themselves can promote tolerance in the developing world. And secondly, because study abroad serves as a key to the world for people who would not be able to leave their countries any other way — especially women from traditional societies, and those from countries with visa restrictions. While other forces of globalization are changing how humans relate to each other, the Internet, entertainment, and vacations have their limits. Often, they increase familiarization, but not true understanding of a culture. These tools that bring people together — without “really” bringing them together — can mask and seemingly minimize inherent differences and disagreements that can exist between cultures. Study abroad research — because it looks at long-term, cross-national contact in real environments — presents a realistic picture of how cultures and nations might interact in a future globalized world, that is even more interconnected than today.
Many of the insights into these study abroad dynamics were gleaned from The Western Educated Man in India (1955), an in-depth sociological profile of Indians who had studied abroad in the US and England, by sociologists John and Ruth Hill Useem. While the exact impact of study abroad will differ based on nationality, era, and demographic factors — the Useems’ study broadly confirmed trends found in a Middle Eastern context. It is accessible and well-written, interesting, and provides an invaluable portrait of study abroad and its impact on individuals. I have chosen excerpts from it to frame and provide support for the accounts from Middle Eastern literature.
Tolerance Begins at Home
The individual life histories reveal that prior to their departure for a foreign education the persons tended to question things…the persons who went abroad had a better chance to discover something different from what they had known before, to try out new patterns of life, to crystallize their vague hopes, and to find substitute patterns and values. To sum up, for many of them the eagerness to change was present prior to a foreign education. The foreign education gave them greater power for change.
— Useem (1955). The Western Educated Man in India, pp. 25-26
It [my foreign experience] reaffirmed my belief that there was no use in having castes, communities, and races as a basis of social life. This was not a new idea to me but a fortification of my viewpoint. The foreign training did not change me; it gave me confidence in what I knew to be true.
— Useem (1955). The Western Educated Man in India, p. 32
When an international student comes to a host country with certain attitudes towards that country, these attitudes tend to predispose him to perceive and interpret certain clues and information from his environment which usually coincide with his initial attitude or tend to support it. For instance, if the international student likes American freedom, equality, and order, this attitude will predispose him to select and interpret certain information and clues from his American environment, (such as the freedom of the local paper to criticize the mayor of the town, the selection of students for part time jobs merely on the basis of their qualifications, and the smooth way in which the local library functions) which tend to strengthen his initial favorable attitude.
— Gezi, K. I. (1959). The acculturation of Middle Eastern Arab students in selected American colleges and universities, p. 43
New Mindsets and Personal Skills
Though self-advancement is ranked by the foreign-returned as the main purpose in studying abroad, self-improvement is rated as the most important reward from the period abroad. For most, the former was part of the motivation for going away to study, whereas the latter was largely an unanticipated result…even those who reacted negatively to their foreign experience, who were antagonistic to the alien culture, who rejected what they observed as unsuitable…return home with a changed outlook and changed habits.
— Useem (1955). The Western Educated Man in India, pp. 25, 30
Ninety percent found their stay in the United States had been highly fruitful, because of a happy change in their outlook on life, themselves, their country and the United States. The students felt that the greatest change was in their own personal philosophy. Again and again they reported a new appreciation of and tolerance for the differences of ideas and ways of living, a new sensitivity to their social environment, and a new respect for the dignity of labor and the laborer himself…and a recognition of the value of social interaction and cooperation.
— Rathore, N. G. (1958). The Pakistan Student, pp. 31-32
Those reporting changes in their personality emphasized that their “breadth of vision had increased;” that they had gained in self-confidence, learned to become tolerant, and to “appreciate the viewpoint of others”…they had become more independent and self-reliant, that they had learned to “think and speak more precisely,” to “admit their faults,” and had gained an appreciation of the value of time, sociability, and informality.
— Rathore, N. G. (1958). The Pakistan Student, p. 44
It is a great opportunity to come here. Also, being here also enhance my personality. I became more strong. I became more strong, because everybody is different. It enhance my ability to adapt with different people. Also, I learned to do things by myself, alone a lot. It changed me, going alone to the airport. I like it. It enhance my personality.
— McDermott-Levy, R. (2008). The lived experience of female Arab-Muslim nurses studying in the United States, 174
When I was home, always you have to follow a leader, but here you’re a leader yourself. There’s no one watching you and you have to make your own rules, organize your life, let’s see about the money – collect your money, save your money, when to spend it. You have to clean your room, and stuff like that. And especially when you don’t have like host brothers to help you out, you’re on yourself.
— Radomski, C. H. (2010). Youth Exchange and Peacebuilding Post 9/11: Experiences of Muslim High School Exchange Students, 332
Everyone respects the codes and the restrictions imposed by the elders in the family. I find this type of organization depressing, restricting on personal liberties, choices, and privacy, and not open to improvement.
— Foerster, S. W. (1981). The effects of a U.S. educational experience on the traditional cultural values of Libyan students, p. 161
I learned far more than one thing from my academic and living experience in the United States. One could write an essay describing what, how and why he was influenced: efficiency, organization, a sense of responsibility, self-discipline, ambition, all coupled with hard work and the free democratic system. I also learned from the negative aspects of American life what we should be careful not to acquire here in Saudi Arabia. If you asked me to limit myself to one single positive thing, I would say self-discipline, which unfortunately I believe we lack. I brought it back with me.
— Thomas, K. (1979). America as Alma Mater. Saudi Aramco World, 30 (3)
Being subjected to a new atmosphere is extremely important in the making of a man. A student gets away…from dependence on his parents. He rents a room…deals with a landlord…buys and cooks his food…deals with problems. Suddenly he finds himself…The contrast of two cultures! I feel I learned to look at things objectively, to act realistically, to appreciate the value of debate.
— Thomas, K. (1979). America as Alma Mater. Saudi Aramco World, 30 (3)
Democracy in the Classroom
Canadian teachers are very modest and friendly. They do not make you feel like they are teaching you…they treat you like their equal, not inferior…Canadian teachers respond to their students. They show interest in what students say or suggest in class regardless of whether they agree with what you say or not…I really like the relationship between teachers and students…not one is high up and the other is low…they are equivalent when they deal with each other.
— Abukhattala, I. (2004). Educational and Cultural Adjustment of Ten Arab Muslim Students in Canadian University Classrooms, pp. 72, 77
If they (Arabic teachers) say something and you disagree, they take as an insult. They take it personally and perhaps you will be in trouble…in other words, you are not allowed to express your opinions or contradict their views…In my home country, we regard a teacher as a saint or prophet…we give him all due respect…we do not argue with them…you don’t feel free when talking to them…when he enters class, everybody is silent, just listening and taking notes…no discussion, no dialogue, no questions at all…you do not dare to ask even if you did not understand.
— Abukhattala, I. (2004). Educational and Cultural Adjustment of Ten Arab Muslim Students in Canadian University Classrooms, pp. 73, 75-76
In my chemistry class, my Canadian teacher used “problem-solving approach” as opposed to memorization,” which was very new to me…Here, they encourage you to explore different perspectives and to question the validity of knowledge presented in textbooks…these textbooks are written by ordinary people like us and maybe they are right or wrong…Their learning is all group discussion and presentations and everyone must participate…I like that and I think it is an effective way of learning…
— Abukhattala, I. (2004). Educational and Cultural Adjustment of Ten Arab Muslim Students in Canadian University Classrooms, pp. 90, 92
[What] I liked about it [study abroad] was the good atmosphere, the warm atmosphere, very motivating environment, obviously good teachers…it was a very warm, equal relationship, a lot of respect, encouragement…the encouragement, the fairness, their [professors] ability, their continuous presences and support, we like full time staff working there. That’s how good and how flexible and how inclusive the environment was…I can honestly say, I was very happy in the years I spent [there]…
We learnt a lot of things that now I’m passing to my students in Tripoli…so it was really other skills, I mean, interpersonal…it was not just the education, it was we learnt the personal skills from our professors…we acquired some lifestyles…it was much more than just the education programme.
— Abdulhamid, N. (2011). What is the impact of the Libyan study abroad scholarship programme on returning university-level English teachers?, p. 100
For the first time in my life, I was taught to think on my own…my professor said, “What do you think?” My mind was freed of restrictions, and I really started to think for myself.
— Useem (1955). The Western Educated Man in India, p. 46
To listen to each individual’s opinion with patience in class, to extend a helping hand to one another, to work in an organization with a friendly feeling towards all, and to think out each item of work in terms of improvement is my most valuable lesson learned in the U.S.
— Rathore, N. G. (1958). The Pakistan Student, p. 33
The teaching is different in our country. The teacher will teach you everything you learn. You will be given all the information. Here it is like, nothing like that. You have to search about the information….I learn more back home. They give us more information. They will teach us honestly…everything. Here, I don’t know…self-study.
— McDermott-Levy, R. (2008). The lived experience of female Arab-Muslim nurses studying in the United States, 163-164
I imagined the college classroom will be full of professor’s talk and real lectures where the professors give me a real opportunity to get from their science. This was the experience I was looking for when I thought of starting my studies here in the States…when I attended college in Saudi Arabia, the professors used to give us long lectures about the topics of the class. They talked for more than an hour explaining the details of the topic… then we had to go home and study our notes from the lectures together with the professor’s book that we buy specially for the class.
— Abdel Razek, A. N. (2012). An exploration of the case of Saudi students’ engagement, success, and self-efficacy at a mid western American university, p. 100
Back there, we buy the book that the professor writes…so the book is usually is the same as the lectures…but here the professor teaches something and the books may say something different…this gives me a lot of work to do because now I have to study the books and keep track of what the professor says in the lectures…double the work.
— Abdel Razek, A. N. (2012). An exploration of the case of Saudi students’ engagement, success, and self-efficacy at a mid western American university, p. 101
I had a beautiful time in the United States. I took my wife and two kids and all four of us went to school. The U.S. system really gets you to study; it’s in the atmosphere. A tremendous way of teaching. You never know when there will be a quiz, you always have a paper to write, you have to learn to use the library. You have 15 or 20 people in a class, not l,000 in one room like a big movie theater where if one person coughs you miss the lecture.
— Thomas, K. (1979). America as Alma Mater. Saudi Aramco World, 30 (3)
I like it here. I really like it. The professors are very nice people. You can talk to them often and they are really interested when you ask them questions or something; they understand what you are saying. They really understand when a student wants to understand something. They know when people are just trying to fool around…I like the academic system here. It is very, very good.
— Fawcett-Frain, P. (1989). Male Libyan Muslim students’ perceptions of their sociocultural and academic adjustment during their sojourn in Winnipeg, Canada in the 1980s, p. 156
Ninety-five percent of the students (or 59 students) were impressed by the use of democratic methods in conducting classes in their American colleges. Seventy-four percent of the students (or 46 students) mentioned that applying pressure on the students and motivating them to cooperate with each other on the one hand, and to compete on the other tended to stimulate the student to put forth his best efforts…these liberal and democratic methods of education were, without any doubt, the most impressive things which the majority of the students mentioned with great admiration.
— Gezi, K. I. (1959). The acculturation of Middle Eastern Arab students in selected American colleges and universities, p. 26
The nature of the changes can best be envisioned as a process of personality reorganization rather than the simple process of adding or subtracting traits, as, for example, in acting according to Western standards and thereby being less Indian.
— Useem (1955). The Western Educated Man in India, pp. 28-29, 31-32
As far as religion goes, I am more attached to Islam and deep in myself, I feel the need to follow the laws that God sent the Prophet Muhammad…but in a way I am more moderate. I accept everyone’s freedom to preach the religion he likes.
— Foerster, S. W. (1981). The effects of a U.S. educational experience on the traditional cultural values of Libyan students, p. 162
The results of the interviews confirm the finding of the responses from the questionnaires. The students from Saudi Arabia have remained Muslims. They consider Islam to be the best religion. In fact, their experiences in America tends to convince them of the superiority of their own religious system. However, they are more liberal in their outlook towards religion as a result of their exposure to religious freedom in this country…
Many of the students expressed their appreciation of the freedoms they experienced in the United States. They enjoyed an open society, but are not convinced that their own country should be open. They see many dangers attendant with unlimited freedom; crime, corruption, the breakdown of the home being a few they listed. In the opinion of many of the students, the divorce of religion from government in the U.S. is the main reason for the disintegration of the society. They feel it is important that religion and government remain united.
— Kershaw, R. M. (1973). Attitudes toward religion of Saudi Arabian students in the United States, pp. 143-144
I have gained back my faith now and know that only the divine teaching can give us the things we want; I have realized my duty to show ourselves and the world that Islam is the source of a better life…I have come to understand my religion and what it means. It is the only way to live which will bring us prosperity and progress in the true sense of the word.
— Rathore, N. G. (1958). The Pakistan Student, p. 32
I learned a lot about my religion in this country. Media spread a lot of untrue interpretation of Islamic tenets and people ask you many questions about your religious practices. You can not say “I am just following God’s orders.” You have to find a convincing and rational response. You cannot do that without reading more and engaging yourself in debates with other Muslims.
— Abukhattala, I. (2004). Educational and Cultural Adjustment of Ten Arab Muslim Students in Canadian University Classrooms, pp. 116-117
Although I did not go to the mosque very often while I was in America, I never for a moment thought that I would not be a good Muslim when I returned to Libya. There is something that tells me that Islam is right.
— Foerster, S. W. (1981). The effects of a U.S. educational experience on the traditional cultural values of Libyan students, p. 161
In my country as far as religious beliefs are concerned, if someone embraces other religion rather than Islam within a Muslim family, it is a huge thing, not tolerated at all…I think this is an obstacle in our countries…I would say, because if you don’t question your religion you don’t really try to seek knowledge…but it is good to start question your religion, because if you don’t question your religion, you don’t really try to seek knowledge, but in my country they say it is Bud’a [sic]…we learned from our parents and read hadith, we were told this religion and taught and not learned it, we were raised in this way, not questioning religious beliefs.
— Mohammed Marzouk, M. R. (2011). Al rihla and curriculum theory: A qualitative comparative study of contemporary and historical Muslim travelers in search of knowledge, p. 134
Ahmed took his undergraduate work in another country of the Middle East. He experienced more culture shock there than when he came to the U.S. His practice of religion changed greatly, so that he was no longer as strict in keeping Muslim rules. He feels he has not changed much in his attitudes and actions towards his religion since coming to the U.S. However, he also states, “I am probably more committed to Islam now than before. Islam is the best religion. It is capable of revision. It is adaptable and is in the process of being revised today to meet changing situations. Islam is a complete system, dealing with all aspects of life. Because of this it is a superior religion.”
Ahmed sees Christianity as inferior because it is subordinate to the state, not able to deal with all aspects of life as Islam does. He has become more conscious of the differences between Christianity and Islam and has concluded that Islam is more democratic than Christianity.
While here, he has spoken with persons from many different religious backgrounds. He mentioned Jehovah Witnesses among persons who have called at his residence and spoken to him about religion. Such visits have not bothered him. In fact, he rather enjoys religious discussion and argumentation, stating that it has helped him in thinking more clearly about his own beliefs. He likes the religious freedom in America and thinks it is good for this nation, but he would not want Saudi Arabia to imitate it. “Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country, and it should be kept so, with some revisions.”
— Kershaw, R. M. (1973). Attitudes toward religion of Saudi Arabian students in the United States, pp. 129-130
During my process of my study in the graduate program he [a professor] mentioned his book as — damn book as a joke, but I respect his book and his knowledge. I thought books are books that keep the knowledge; I thought how he could say — damn on his own book…I think knowledge is so much respected in Islam.
— Mohammed Marzouk, M. R. (2011). Al rihla and curriculum theory: A qualitative comparative study of contemporary and historical Muslim travelers in search of knowledge, p. 139
The Canadian society is open and all topics can be tackled and discussed. There is no absolute right and absolute wrong. I think this is an advantage as we just discuss and at the end, I am free to choose what I am comfortable with.
— Mostafa, G. (2006). Learning and cultural experiences of Arab Muslim graduate students in a Canadian university. Journal of Contemporary Issues in Education, 1 (1), 36-53.
I don’t practice (Islam) I’m ashamed to say. I’m going to the bars and I’m going out with girls and stuff which my religion forbids. You should wait until you get married and stuff, but I can’t help it. It’s very difficult for me…I don’t feel good about what I’m doing but I can’t stop it. But I feel stronger about my religion. I respect the religious guys very much…they give me hope, and they make me proud of my religion.
— Fawcett-Frain, P. (1989). Male Libyan Muslim students’ perceptions of their sociocultural and academic adjustment during their sojourn in Winnipeg, Canada in the 1980s, p. 92
I think my religion now is much better than when I thought of it before I came here. When I came here I thought they (Canadians) are really modernized and everything is good here. But now I think it’s nice to have our religion to be very, very strong. You know what I mean? Like, no drinking, or drugs, or anything; that’s a clean society.
— Fawcett-Frain, P. (1989). Male Libyan Muslim students’ perceptions of their sociocultural and academic adjustment during their sojourn in Winnipeg, Canada in the 1980s, p. 95
American Foreign Policy
Does understanding of the West imply commitment to the political faiths that stem from the West? Does it mean loyalty to the country that helped the foreign-returned to get an education? …
The answer is “no” if loyalty to the West is defined as unqualified support for the official policies of the British Foreign Office or the American State Department….[most] do not subscribe to the notion that the West always knows what is best for mankind or that Western men of power have such a monopoly over the fundamental values of civilized life that they alone can interpret them properly in various parts of the world…
The answer is “yes” if the question is put in terms of such underlying values of Western culture as human liberty, the spirit of freedom, the rule of law, and the dignity of man.
— Useem (1955). The Western Educated Man in India, pp. 135-136
Knowledge about another society may help those who make decisions in a related society understand how to deal with others, but this alone does not assure amity. The Indian leadership before independent (including the foreign-returned) had substantial knowledge about the British; it would be a non sequitur to conclude that from this understanding came a sense of fellowship between the rulers and the ruled. Most of the foreign-returned from America may believe that the United States is not imperialistic, as are the colonial nations of Europe, but this, too, does not stop them from being critical of American military aid for Pakistan.
— Useem (1955). The Western Educated Man in India, pp. 178-179
The foreign-returned have a rudimentary grasp of the social forces at work and the motives of men in the United Kingdom and the United States. They have at their command substantial factual knowledge concerning the national character of the people and their styles of life. And, finally, even though this factor is the least significant, they are more sympathetic to the West after having been in it than they were before, and they are more sympathetic than are their associates who have not been in the West. For example, they foreign-returned may agree with the opinions of their associates on Western forms of behavior, yet the opinions of the foreign-trained are more balanced…the foreign-returned are less susceptible to the practice of overgeneralizing and oversimplifying a part of the world that they know from direct observation. They have a new frame of reference for thinking — not just a new set of beliefs about the Western world.
— Useem (1955). The Western Educated Man in India, p. 135
I think that like, by movies or anything, I wouldn’t be able to learn how people live here and what they live for, and like what are their goals and everything. So I think the best thing is you are learning the culture by living it. I had so many good friends. I hope that they will be like lifelong friends some of them.
— Radomski, C. H. (2010). Youth Exchange and Peacebuilding Post 9/11: Experiences of Muslim High School Exchange Students, 326
I’m going to ask them, “What do you think of America?” And if it’s in contrast with what I think or what I experience, then I will share with them my experiences – the way people were nice to me, the way people treated me, and how different things were done because they are different people.
— Radomski, C. H. (2010). Youth Exchange and Peacebuilding Post 9/11: Experiences of Muslim High School Exchange Students, 359
I don’t know any Saudi Arab who has studied in the United States who has come back with a feeling against it. As a matter of fact we’ve been accused here in Saudi Arabia of favoring America. One former ambassador of a European country called us the California Mafia because so many people in the decision-making process have studied at various California institutions…I don’t think that is necessarily true. Of course, there is no doubt that in a variety of fields America is the most advanced country.
— Thomas, K. (1979). America as Alma Mater. Saudi Aramco World, 30 (3)
Removal, Return, and Readjustment
We conclude from the assembled data that the nature of the changes that occur within the individual and the persistence of the changes in the life of a person depend on a matrix rather than on a single element. What the individual was before — based on social origins, position in society, temperament, ability, and future plans — governs what he selects out of a foreign environment. The personal changes that occur in the foreign environment are determined both by what the individual brings into that environment and by what he is offered by the environment — the social and intellectual setting, the training provided, the responses of the people with whom he interacts. What the foreign-educated are like thereafter is affected by what they were before they went, by what they experienced overseas, and by what happens to them in the subsequent years — their social position and opportunities, their roles in the social circles in which they move, economic and political conditions within the nation.
— Useem (1955). The Western Educated Man in India, p. 30
In some instances, basic changes may not come to the surface until the foreign-educated obtains a position that permits him to act in accord with his own preferences. This may occur many years after his return. For example, a woman who had developed a definite preference for democratic teaching practices while a student in America had to wait for fifteen years, until she advanced to the headship of a school where she was in authority, to introduce democratic procedures.
— Useem (1955). The Western Educated Man in India, p. 29
If a desire to evaluate each individual according to his merits rather than his relatives is expressed by the foreign-returned, he usually qualifies the statement by adding that he, as a person, can but imperfectly apply this principle in actual decisions. His private predilections cannot always prevail, nor can he ride roughshod over the existing social patterns.
— Useem (1955). The Western Educated Man in India, p. 55
The agents of social change in Saudi Arabia are principally American educated technocrats…the technocrats acquire different values in the United States, especially those related to discipline and organization. They have educational, managerial and even social formulas they would like to introduce. However they compete with the traditional elements for social influence. American educated technocrats are faced with the era of cultural nationalism. Alienated by the modernization process, Saudis are seeking refuge in their culture and religion. Consequently, US educated technocrats must make more of an effort to conform, lest they be labeled as non-nationalists. The technocrats’ behavior has changed as a result of their identity crisis in public and sometimes even in private when technocrats become Islamists. It can be deducted that the American educated Saudi technocrats have the capacity to institute social change, but they do not always have the will or the opportunity to do so.
— Salaam, Y. S. (2000). American-educated Saudi technocrats: Agents of social change?, p. ii
Students returning from a period of study in the United States face many problems of readjustment. Re-establishing relationships with their families and friends and adjustment to the current realities of their home cultures and economic situations are often difficult…
But certainly the major problem is finding suitable employment, often in the face of prejudices already referred to, and in the face of new ideas and attitudes all too readily acquired in America, but not readily accepted by the home folks…
The returner may find also that he is fighting a political and economic system which has long recognized bribery, influence, and status as prerequisites for action. As one cynical student in Pakistan remarked, “To get ahead here you need the three R’s — rupees, relatives, and religion.” The same situation applies, in far greater degree than we are used to, in many parts of the Middle East.
— Putman Jr., I. (1957). Eye on the Middle East. College and University 32 (3), pp. 330-331
Morality and Culture are Geopolitical Issues
Americans are known as individuals who are friendly, equalitarian, generous, and energetic. Americans are easy to meet, easy to mix with, and easy to get along with. Personable, informal, humorous, and enjoys life. “Everyone tried to make us feel at home.” “They talked freely with anyone.” “Americans at once see you as a person — I was received with open arms everywhere.”
— Useem (1955). The Western Educated Man in India, p. 143
They [Americans] really respect people a lot, for who you are no matter what is your cultural background…they are really polite…but you are weird to them unless you talk then they will engage with you…this is a major concept on a daily basis for me.
— Mohammed Marzouk, M. R. (2011). Al rihla and curriculum theory: A qualitative comparative study of contemporary and historical Muslim travelers in search of knowledge, p. 201
There are some aspects of Western society that remain enigmatic to the foreign-returned. Family life is one of these. To some it appears disorganized; to others, democratic. The instabilities of the home, especially in America, seem odd in contrast with the stability of the India home. Whereas fellow feeling among co-workers is admired by the Indians, the slim ties among relatives are frowned upon.
— Useem (1955). The Western Educated Man in India, pp. 156
The children are taught to be independent at a young age. This is a very good thing. But a person does not know the work his father is doing, where his sisters are, and whether or not his brothers will help him. It is a curse to be old. Old people get little respect, and they cannot maintain themselves…There is no love in family life. I found that affection is only skin-deep there. Family life is superficial and artificial. I conflict, the family falls apart. The attachment to the family is not real. Every man and woman is interested in himself, not in parents, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives. No one gets a happy home life.
— Useem (1955). The Western Educated Man in India, pp. 156-157
Yes technologically they are advanced but spiritually and morally they are bankrupt. I think we still can offer a lot to the West. We were and are superior in our family life. Morality has its roots in religion which they abandon. Look, the highest percentage of people who commit suicide is in the Western cities. Why is that happening although they are relatively rich and advanced? Because there is an imbalance between the body and soul.
— Abukhattala, I. (2004). Educational and Cultural Adjustment of Ten Arab Muslim Students in Canadian University Classrooms, p. 113
I have learned the “tools,” but I adhere to the basic ideas of my society, our outlook on life, our philosophy, now more than I did in Pakistan. The more I see the Western way of life, the more I am convinced that it would be a sad day for us if we took all the American ideas without change…it is the essence of my study of Western culture and civilization that it should not be tried in Pakistan.
— Rathore, N. G. (1958). The Pakistan Student, p. 34
In response to the question which dealt with “friendliness of Americans” all students felt that America differed in that respect from the Near East. Friendship in the Near East is a more highly idealized, mutually dependent, and highly emotional relationship than here. Syrian students in America complain of the lack of such ties. They further feel that Americans are friendly on a verbal level but unwilling to “do” very much for the foreigner.
— Williams, H. H. (1952). Syrians Studying Abroad, pp. 17-18
Family life and relations and sexual morals in the United States met with strong resistance…Only six (10.9 percent) of Egyptian students and six (6.5 percent) of the British students expressed the desirability of seeing American family life and relations adopted in their countries.
— Hegazy, M. E. (1968). Cross-cultural experience and social change: The case of foreign study, pp. 183-184
Many people [Americans] whom I met and talked to in the beginning of 2000 did not know much about my culture, most of them even did not know where my country is. I used to make jokes and ask them: do you know about other countries? They did not know this country or that and they laughed, sometimes I say Americans are not good in geography, it is understandable everyone knows about the U.S. but they don‘t know we know about Americans. I started talking about my culture.
— Mohammed Marzouk, M. R. (2011). Al rihla and curriculum theory: A qualitative comparative study of contemporary and historical Muslim travelers in search of knowledge, p. 137
The academic degree is only part of the experience of studying in America. You gain perspective. You find out you are only a small part of this big world. You learn about Americans’ work ethic and their forthrightness.
— Thomas, K. (1979). America as Alma Mater. Saudi Aramco World, 30 (3)
The Americans are really nice people. All of my relationships with Americans were very satisfactory…true, their friendship is rather superficial if it is compared with our concept of friendship, but it is still satisfactory if it is well-understood within the context of their own culture…
Friendship here is very superficial. I met many Americans in particular who asked me many questions and shook hands with me, then forgot even to greet me the following morning when they would see me.
— Gezi, K. I. (1959). The acculturation of Middle Eastern Arab students in selected American colleges and universities, p. 26, 28
We Libyans are very emotional people…when we say friend we mean it’s almost like a brother, or even more than a brother. So it maybe sounds like silly, but it’s not…I mean a friend is just like when you are not there it’s like you are there because your friend is there and there’s no problems. Everything he wants, (he needs is a better word), you are capable of, you should do. But I didn’t see this with a Canadian. I didn’t. Maybe I will, but I don’t know. I haven’t so far…
— Fawcett-Frain, P. (1989). Male Libyan Muslim students’ perceptions of their sociocultural and academic adjustment during their sojourn in Winnipeg, Canada in the 1980s, p. 105
Friendship here is just kind of materialistic friendship. There (in Libya) it’s much more than that. It’s everything. A friend is a friend…one who helps you in trouble, any kind of trouble; saves you from many things; advises you to do things, I mean, good things. Here, friendship is just you go together, maybe do an assignment together, but when it comes to trouble, they usually avoid it. They usually stay away from it.
— Fawcett-Frain, P. (1989). Male Libyan Muslim students’ perceptions of their sociocultural and academic adjustment during their sojourn in Winnipeg, Canada in the 1980s, p. 106
While research on study abroad is copious, often education students and practitioners are unaware of the vast literature that undergirds the field. This includes not only research related to all aspects of foreign student experience (from nearly all regions), but also theoretical literature — from fields as diverse as psychology, sociology, economics, and biology — related to cross-cultural contact, globalization, and value change. Having done the research, I can confidently state that the heyday of study abroad research — proliferating in the wake of World War II, and onset of the Cold War — is long over. Moreover, despite the massification of study abroad, its dynamics remain broadly the same as 60 years ago. For instance, the following quotation from 1955 could easily describe today’s world:
One of the most far-reaching changes, in a century of profound change, involves the relationship between the Western and non-Western worlds. Modern science and technology, acculturation and world markets, and redistribution of power are making the old East-West divisions obsolete…the more advanced countries are endeavoring to aid the development of the less well endowed. The latter, in turn, are actively seeking the knowledge and the means to develop along modern lines. In this historical context, the age-old custom of interchange of students between societies has taken on new significance.
– The Western Educated Man in India, John and Ruth Hill Useem, p.1
There are some foundational pieces of literature, however, that can provide an overview of the field, and its types of research. These broadly include sociological and country profiles; government surveys and literature; theory-based analysis of international student experiences; and bibliographies. Perusing any of these will necessarily lead to other sources, and then the entirety of the field. General sources will be listed; followed by the Middle East bibliography (and Arabic-language material at the end). Tracking down Middle Eastern sources proved difficult. While I have necessarily missed some, this represents the most comprehensive bibliography to date, with over 150 sources.
Gezi, K. I. (1959). The Acculturation of Middle Eastern Arab Students in Selected American Colleges and Universities (Doctoral dissertation, Stanford University).
Klineberg, O., & Hull, W. F. (1979). At a Foreign University: An International Study of Adaptation and Coping. New York: Praeger.
Morris, R. T. (1960). The Two-way Mirror: National Status in Foreign Students’ Adjustment. University of Minnesota Press.
Near East College Association (1946). Register of Near Eastern students studying in the United States.
Rathore, N. G. (1958). The Pakistan Student: His desire to study in and preconceptions of the US; his problems and evaluation of his experience in the US and upon return to Pakistan. American Friends of the Middle East.
Spaulding, S., & Flack, M. J. (1976). The World’s Students in the United States: A Review and Evaluation of Research on Foreign Students. New York: Praeger.
Spencer, R. E., & Awe, R. (1970). International Educational Exchange: A Bibliography. National Association of Foreign Student Advisers (NAFSA).
Selltiz, C., & Cook, S. W. (1962). Factors influencing attitudes of foreign students toward the host country. Journal of Social Issues, 18 (1), 7-23.
United States. Dept. of State. External Research Staff (1965). Cross-cultural Education: A Bibliography of Government-sponsored and Private Research on Foreign Students and Trainees in the US and in Other Countries, 1946-1964.
Useem, J., & Useem, R. H. (1955). The Western Educated Man in India: A study of his social roles and influence. Dryden Press.
Middle East Sources
Abu-Hilal, M. M. (1986). Foreign student’s interaction, satisfaction, and attitudes toward certain aspects of the American culture: A case of Arab students in Southern California (Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Riverside).
Abukhattala, I. (2004). Educational and Cultural Adjustment of Ten Arab Muslim Students in Canadian University Classrooms (Doctoral dissertation, McGill University, Canada).
Abdellatif, R. A. (1978). A study of economic and social costs and benefits of Egyptians studying at American universities (Doctoral dissertation, George Peabody College for Teachers).
Abdel Razek, A. N. (2012). An exploration of the case of Saudi students’ engagement, success, and self-efficacy at a mid western American university (Doctoral Dissertation, The University of Akron).
Abdulhamid, N. (2011). What is the impact of the Libyan study abroad scholarship programme on returning university-level English teachers? (Master’s Thesis, Carleton University, Canada).
Abdalla, S. E., & Gibson, J. T. (1984). The relationship of exposure to American culture on the attitude of Libyan nationals toward the role of women in the workforce. Contemporary Educational Psychology 9, 294-302.
Addou, I. H. (1990) The relationship between selected status factors and certain educational difficulties of a sample of male Arab students in five selected universities (Doctoral dissertation, The American University).
Akka, R. I. (1967). The Middle Eastern student on the American campus. Journal of American College Health Association, 15, 251-253.
Alfauzan, A. M. (1992). The impact of American culture on the attitudes of Saudi Arabian students in the United States toward women’s participation in the labor force in Saudi Arabia (Doctoral dissertation, Mississippi State University).
Al-Akeel, S. A. (1992). The impact of modernization on Saudi society: A case study of Saudi students’ attitudes (Doctoral dissertation, Mississippi State University).
Al-Bishr, M. S. (1994) Communication among Saudi Arabian students studying in the United States during the time of the 1990-1991 Gulf crisis: An examination of perceived communication effectiveness (Doctoral dissertation, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale).
Al-Dakheelallah, D. A. (1984). Saudi Arabian students’ attitudes toward Americans (Doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University).
Al-Ghamdi, H. A. (1985). A study of selected aspects of the academic pursuits of Saudi Arabian government master’s degree scholarship students in the United States of America (Doctoral dissertation, University of Houston).
Al-Ghanim, A. A. G. (1983). A study of the academic, personal and social problems perceived by Kuwaiti undergraduate and graduate students in the United States (Doctoral dissertation, The George Washington University).
Al-Gorashi, M. K. (1987). Saudi Arabians’ perceptions of their doctoral degrees (Doctoral dissertation, Vanderbilt University).
Al-Harethi, Z. O. (1985). A Study of Attitudes and Attitude Change of Saudi Students in the United States Toward Some Social Issues (Doctoral dissertation, University of Minnesota).
Al-Harthi, F. (1987). Saudi undergraduate students in U.S. universities: An exploratory study of their performance. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Pittsburgh).
Al-Hinai, A. T. (1978). Images, Attitudes and Problems of Middle Eastern Students in America (Doctoral dissertation, United States International University).
Al-Hussniyah, A. A. R. (1985). Perceptions of Saudi students of public administration curriculum in the United States and their perceptions of selected administrative practices in Saudi Arabia (Doctoral dissertation, University of La Verne).
Al-Janobi, A. H. (1984). The Perception of Saudi Arabian Students in the USA to Their General Secondary Education Certificate Examinations and Some Relationships to Selected Demographic Variables (Doctoral dissertation, University of Oregon).
Al-Jasir, A. S. (1993). Social, cultural, and academic factors associated with adjustment of Saudi students in the United States (Doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).
Al-Khedaire, K. (1978). Cultural perception and attitudinal differences among Saudi Arabian male college students in the United States (Doctoral dissertation, The University of Arizona).
Al-Issa, A. (2005). When the West teaches the East: Analyzing intercultural conflict in the classroom. Intercultural Communication Studies, 14 (4), 149.
Al-Madhy, A. A. (1983). The attitude and adjustment of Saudi-Arabian students in the United States (Doctoral dissertation, Humboldt State University).
Al-Mehawes, M. A. (1984). Saudi Arabian graduate returnees: Their readjustment, stress and coping to adapt and re-integrate into Saudi Arabia (Doctoral dissertation, University of Denver).
Al-Mekhlafi, A.A. (1999) A qualitative study of the social and learning experiences of two Arab LEP students in an American school: A sociocultural perspective (Doctoral dissertation, Florida State University).
Al-Otaiby, A. S. (1987). The impact of formal education upon Saudi male students’ attitude toward women’s participation in the labor force in Saudi Arabia (Doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University).
Al-Said, A. A. (1988). Saudi students’ attitudes toward fertility and family size (Doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University).
Al-Salem, S. (2005). The impact of the internet on Saudi Arabian EFL females’ self-image and social attitudes (Doctoral dissertation, Indiana University of Pennsylvania).
Al-Salim, M. H. (1984). The Impact of College on the Development and Social Attitude of Undergraduate Arab Students (Doctoral dissertation, University of Southern California).
Al-Shama, N. M. H. (1959). Problems of adjustment of Iraqi students in the United States (Doctoral dissertation, Columbia University).
Al-Shedokhi, S. (1986). An investigation of the problems experienced by Saudi students while enrolled in institutions of higher education in the United States (Doctoral dissertation, Oregon State University).
Al-Shehry, A. (1989). An investigation of the financial and academic problems perceived by Saudi graduate students while they are studying in the United States (Doctoral dissertation, Oregon State University).
Al-Yassini, A. (1986). Easing the Cultural Adjustment of Arab Students. Arab Forum, 2 (2). Ottawa: League of Arab States Information Centre.
Albeialy, M. (2000). American-based Saudi Students Attitudes Toward Girls’ Physical Education in Public Schools in Saudi Arabia (Doctoral dissertation, Indiana State University).
Alhazmi, A., & Nyland, B. (2010). Saudi International Students in Australia and Intercultural Engagement: A Study of Transitioning from a Gender Segregated Culture to a Mixed Gender Environment. In The 21st ISANA International Education Conference (pp. 1-11). ISANA International Education Association Inc.
Alivand-Farsi, I. (1980). Leadership personality and political culture of Iranian university students in the U.S. (Doctoral dissertation, United States International University).
Almana, A. M. (1973). Attitudes of Saudi Arabian students toward working women and religion (Master’s thesis, Arizona State University).
Alreshoud, A., & Koeske, G. F. (1997). Arab students’ attitudes toward and amount of social contact with Americans: A causal process analysis of cross-sectional data. The Journal of Social Psychology, 137 (2), 235-245.
Alsabeeh, A. I. N. (1993). The attitude of male Saudi University students in Riyadh toward modernity, Islamization and Westernization (Doctoral dissertation, Howard University).
Alsamarraie, F. J. (1983). The Impact of the US Environment on the Iraqi Student (Doctoral dissertation, University of Pittsburgh).
Alsawad, M. S. S. (1991). Acculturation and attitude change among male United Arab Emirates students in the United States (Doctoral dissertation, The George Washington University).
Althen, G. L. (1966). Arab Students Outside the Classroom (Master’s thesis, University of Pittsburgh).
Althen, G. L. (1978). Students from the Arab World and Iran. National Association for Foreign Student Affairs (NAFSA), Washington, DC.
Alyahya, K. A. M. (1981). Constructing a comprehensive orientation program for Saudi Arabian students in the United States (Doctoral dissertation, University of Pittsburgh).
Alzamil, A. (2004). The impact of the September 11, 2001 tragedy on Saudi high school students’ attitudes toward studying in the United States of America (Doctoral dissertation, Indiana State University).
Andalib, A. A. (1975). The academic success of undergraduate Iranian students in selected Texas universities (Doctoral dissertation, East Texas State University).
Appleton, M. (2005). The political attitudes of Muslims studying at British universities in the post-9/11 world (Part I). Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 25 (2), 171-191.
Appleton, M. (2005): The political attitudes of Muslims studying at British universities in the post-9/11 world (Part II). Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 25 (3), 299-316.
Arasteh, H. (1994). Evaluation of Iranian Students in the United States and Their Returnability to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Aryan, B. (2010). From Kabul to the Academy: Narratives of Afghan women’s journeys to and through U.S. doctoral programs (Doctoral dissertation, University of Denver).
Ashraf, P. (1987). Contrasting elements of social interactions of Iranian students in the United States (Doctoral dissertation, The Claremont Graduate University).
Asmar, C. (2005). Politicising student difference: The Muslim experience. International perspectives on higher education research, 3, 129-157.
Atef-Vahid, M. K. (1987). Acculturation, psychological differentiation, and personality among Iranian student sojourners (Doctoral dissertation, Howard University).
Ayyash-Abdo, H. (1987). Lebanese College Students in the United States: An Assessment of their Academic, Personal and Social Problems (Doctoral dissertation, The George Washington University).
Azat, I. Y. (1974). The Non-returning Arab Student: A study in the loss of human resources (Doctoral dissertation, University of Southern California).
Bahrami, A. (1983). Communication difficulties of Iranian students in the United States: a case study (Doctoral dissertation, University of Missouri, Columbia).
Baqadir, A. B. A. (1976). A study of Saudi Arabian official examination in the sixth, ninth, and twelfth grades (Doctoral dissertation, University of Wisconsin).
Bavifard, J. M. (2008). Examining perceptions of experiences of Iranian college students in the post 9/11 context (Doctoral Dissertation, D’Youville College).
Blackman, B. I. (1979). Intercultural Communication Patterns of Iranian Students in Public Forums in the US. 65th Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association, San Antonio, Texas.
Borhanmanesh, M. (1965). A study of Iranian students in Southern California (Doctoral dissertation, University of California at Los Angeles).
Brabant, S., Palmer, C. E., & Gramling, R. (1990). Returning home: An empirical investigation of cross-cultural reentry. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 14(4), 387-404.
Brown, L. (2009). International students in England: Finding belonging through Islam. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 29 (1), 57-67.
Bu-Salih, R. M. (1985). The attitude toward physical recreation of male Saudi students studying in the United States (Doctoral dissertation, University of Oregon).
Bukhowa, A. A. (1978). The Attitudes of Arab Students in Colorado Toward Business and Industrial Firms in the United States (Doctoral dissertation, University of Northern Colorado).
Bulhan, H. A. (1978). Reactive identification, alienation, and locus of control among Somali students. The Journal of Social Psychology, 104 (1), 69-80.
Burkholder, J. R. (2010). Reflections of Single Turkish International Graduate Students: Studies on Life at a Midwestern University (Doctoral dissertation, Kent State University).
Charbaji, A. M. S. (1978). Academic and social problems facing Arab students on American campuses (Doctoral dissertation, University of Northern Colorado).
Clerehan, R., McCall, L., McKenna, L., & Alshahrani, K. (2012). Saudi Arabian nurses’ experiences of studying Masters degrees in Australia. International Nursing Review, 59 (2), 215-221.
Cole, D., & Ahmadi, S. (2003). Perspectives and experiences of Muslim women who veil on college campuses. Journal of College Student Development, 44 (1), 47-66.
Conference Board of the Associated Research Councils. Advisory Committee for the Near East, South Asia, & Conference Board of the Associated Research Councils. Committee on International Exchange of Persons. (1955).The exchange of scholars with countries of the Near East and South Asia: Report of the problems arising from cross-cultural differences in the Fulbright programs with India and Iraq.
Dahhan, O. E. (1975). A study of the factors influencing future plans and career goals of Arab Ph. D. students in the United States (Doctoral dissertation, University of Texas at Austin).
Davis, F. J. (1960). Cultural perspectives of Middle Eastern students in America. The Middle East Journal, 14 (3), 256-264.
Demir, C. E., Aksu, M., & Paykoç, F. (2000). Does Fulbright make a difference? The Turkish perspective. Journal of Studies in International Education, 4 (1), 103-111.
Deraney, P. M. (2004). Saudi women’s society: Perceptions of Saudi Arabian women living in the upper Midwest (Doctoral dissertation, The University of North Dakota).
Diab, L. N. (1957). Authoritarianism and prejudice in Near-Eastern students attending American universities (Doctoral dissertation, The University of Oklahoma).
Diab, L. N. (1959). Authoritarianism and prejudice in Near-Eastern students attending American universities. The Journal of Social Psychology, 50 (2), 175-187.
Dumiati, S. I. (1986). An exploratory study of the educational behaviors, aspirations, and attitudes of Saudi wives who reside abroad with their husbands who are studying in the United States (Doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University).
Dwiraat, S. A. (1987). The perceived difficulty of communicative, religious, social, and academic experiences in the United States for students from Saudi Arabia (Doctoral dissertation, Virginia State University).
El-Banyan, A. (1974). Cross-cultural education and attitude change: A study of Saudi Arabian students in the United States (Doctoral dissertation, North Carolina State University).
El-Orabi, H. (1967). Culture Shock Among Saudi Arabian Students in the U.S. (Master’s thesis, University of Southern California).
El-Refaei, H. (1993). Selected nonacademic factors influencing the social adjustment of Arab and non-Arab Muslim students attending an American university (Doctoral dissertation, University of Houston).
El-Sharif, I. (1982). Professional occupational adjustment of Libyans educated in United States universities (Doctoral Dissertation, University of Maryland, Baltimore).
El-Sowygh, H (1981). Performance of a piagetian test by Saudi Arabian students in colorado colleges and universities in relation to selected sociodemographic and academic data (Doctoral dissertation, The University of New Mexico).
En-Nabut, I. (2007). The lived experiences of immigrant Arab Muslim women in the United States: Implications for counselors and other helping professionals (Doctoral dissertation, University of New Orleans).
Fadlalla, F. A. (1978). Integration of Sudanese students into the American society: An indepth analysis of the problem of alienation among students in California (Doctoral dissertation, Claremont Graduate School).
Faheem, M. E. (1982). Higher education and nation building: A case study of King Abdulaziz University (Saudi Arabia) (Doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).
Farjadi, G. (1980). Economics of Study Abroad: The Case of Iranian Students in the US (Doctoral dissertation, New York University).
Farzad, V. (1981). The measurement and analysis of Iranian student satisfaction in selected California universities (Doctoral dissertation, University of the Pacific).
Fasheh, M. (1984). Foreign Students in the United States: An Enriching Experience or a Wasteful One? Contemporary Educational Psychology, 9 (3), 313-20.
Fawcett-Frain, P. (1989). Male Libyan Muslim students’ perceptions of their sociocultural and academic adjustment during their sojourn in Winnipeg, Canada in the 1980s (Master’s thesis, The University of Manitoba, Canada).
Foerster, S. W. (1981). The effects of a U.S. educational experience on the traditional cultural values of Libyan students (Doctoral dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin).
Gezi, K. I. (1959). The acculturation of Middle Eastern Arab students in selected American colleges and universities (Doctoral dissertation, Stanford University).
Gezi, K. I. (1961). Arab students’ perceptions of American students. Sociology and Social Research, 45, 441-447.
Gezi, K. I. (1965) Factors associated with student adjustment in cross-cultural contact. California Journal of Educational Research,16, 129-136.
Ghaban, M. A. (1986). Education and individual modernity among Saudi students: A study of the impact of formal and cross-cultural education on modernizing attitudes and values (Doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University).
Habib, I. A. (1979). Change in expectations of Saudi Arabian students toward some selected aspects of the United States (Master’s thesis, Humboldt State University).
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