Exploring Sense of Belonging among Black International Students at an HBCU


  • Chrystal A. George Mwangi University of Massachusetts Amherst, United States




international students, historically black colleges and universities, sense of belonging, qualitative


This study elucidates the experiences of HBCU (historically Black colleges and universities) students who are racially Black, but differ in nativity and nationality from their Black American peers. The purpose is to examine Black HBCU international students’ sense of belonging on campus. This study engages qualitative individual interviews with ten Black international HBCU students and utilizes the constant comparative analytic process. Findings revealed Black international HBCU students’ perceptions of race and nativity shape their university experiences as they sought to maintain national identity while adjusting to the HBCU environment and engaging in cross-cultural interactions with Black Americans. Recommendations include embracing a heterogeneous perspective when developing services, programs, and research studies related to the experiences of Black students.

Author Biography

Chrystal A. George Mwangi, University of Massachusetts Amherst, United States

CHRYSTAL A. GEORGE MWANGI, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her scholarship centers on 1) structures of opportunity and educational attainment for underrepresented populations along the P-20 education pipeline; 2) impacts of globalization and migration on U.S. higher education and 3) African and African Diaspora populations in higher education. 




How to Cite

George Mwangi, C. A. (2016). Exploring Sense of Belonging among Black International Students at an HBCU. Journal of International Students, 6(4), 1015–1037. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v6i4.332



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