Coming to America: Challenges Facing Faculty Coming to United States’ Universities and an Assessment of the Opportunities for New Academics

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Foreign-born faculty, US education system, cultural differences

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‘Coming to America’ is a journey filled with obstacles for some new faculty from abroad. This paper reports the findings of surveys conducted with foreign-born faculty and their students in order to explore the key issues these faculty face at US institutions. They identify substantial concerns about cultural differences, including relations with students, feelings of loneliness and the difficult process of obtaining permanent residency rights. The paper concludes with recommendations of strategies that could ease the transition into US academe for foreign-born faculty in the future. These include improving mentoring, networking and training opportunities for foreign-born faculty and providing more information and training for chairs so that they are better able to help foreign-born colleagues.

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Journal of Geography in Higher Education, v. 32, issue 2, p. 179-188