“It’s Kinda Weird”: Hybrid Identities in the International Undergraduate Community


  • Titilola Adewale Campbellsville University, United States
  • Mark M. D'Amico University of North Carolina at Charlotte, United States
  • Spencer Salas University of North Carolina at Charlotte, United States




globalization, hybridity, identities, international students, multiplicity


With benefits international students bring to campus, universities have adopted aggressive recruitment practices and increased institutional support for their retention and positive college engagement (Hegarty, 2014). Due to globalization, increasing numbers of international students enter college with multiple cultural/national affiliations (Gomes, Berry, Alzougool, & Chang, 2014). Yet, little is known about these complex identities and how they shape students’ experiences in U.S. higher education. Using Schlossberg’s Transition Theory, the article leverages interview data to theorize hybrid national/cultural identities of five “international” undergraduate students at a private university on the Eastern seaboard. Although the institution used passport information to categorize student nationality, participants chose to self-identify less categorically. Our discussion recommends dialogue around international students’ identity constructs to thoughtfully affirm hybridity.

Author Biographies

Titilola Adewale, Campbellsville University, United States

TITILOLA ADEWALE, EdD, is a higher education consultant and the Director of International Services, Louisville Education Center at Campbellsville University, KY. She has worked extensively with culturally and linguistically diverse students in U.S higher education institutions. Her research interests include international education, culture and identity, retention, and academic success. 

Mark M. D'Amico, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, United States

MARK M. D’AMICO, PhD, is an Associate Professor and director of the doctoral program in Educational Leadership, Higher Education Concentration at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Mark’s research focuses on community colleges, and he received the 2014 Barbara K. Townsend Emerging Scholar Award from the Council for the Study of Community Colleges. 

Spencer Salas, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, United States

SPENCER SALAS, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Department of Middle, Secondary, and K-12 Education at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and the TESL strand coordinator for the Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. He has worked as a Senior English Language Fellow of the U.S. Department of State in Peru and served with the Fulbright program in Romania, Guatemala and South Africa. He has published broadly on teachers' negotiation of New South contexts and the implications of Latino immigration for educational policy and praxis




How to Cite

Adewale, T., D’Amico, M. M., & Salas, S. (2018). “It’s Kinda Weird”: Hybrid Identities in the International Undergraduate Community. Journal of International Students, 8(2), 861–883. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v8i2.118



Research Articles (English)