LGBTQIA+ International Students and Socioemotional Well-Being

Impact of Intersectionality on Perceived Experiences and Campus Engagement




international students, socioemotional well-being, mental health, identity development, intersectionality, LGBTQIA


International students are more likely to experience mental health issues and increased stress. Mental health is often surrounded by negative societal stigmas that act as barriers to seeking support and tend to lead to greater mental health concerns. International students tend to seek socioemotional support from other international student peers rather than seeking out counseling services. However, this study shows that LGBTQIA+ international students were less likely to seek socioemotional support from other international student peers due to fear of their sexual orientation being discovered and their families finding out about their identity. This study examines how LGBTQIA+ international students talk about their experiences on and off campus in relations to their socioemotional well-being. Specifically, this study sought to better understand the complexities of LGBTQIA+ students’ identities, and the challenges they faced in terms of their socioemotional well-being. Implications for practice and future research are discussed. 

Author Biographies

Andrew S. Herridge, The University of Southern Mississippi

Andrew S. Herridge, PhD is an Assistant Professor at The University of Southern Mississippi. He obtained his B.A. in psychology and English from the Florida State University, his M.Ed. in College Student Affairs Administration from the University of West Florida, and his Ph.D. in Higher Education research from Texas Tech University. His research interests include access and equity in higher education, LGBTQIA students and resources, institutional leadership and policy, and international and comparative higher education. Email:

Mary Ann Bodine Al-Sharif, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Mary Ann Bodine Al-Sharif, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education in the School of Education at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She completed her B.A. in Religious Studies at Randall University, M.A. in English at the University of Central Oklahoma, and M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Adult and Higher Education at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Bodine Al-Sharif has worked in higher education for over 14 years as both a faculty member and student affairs and services administrator. She served as a Social Justice Graduate Research Fellow during her doctoral studies, and in 2019 was selected by the Ministry of Education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the International Exhibition and Conference on Higher Education (IECHE) Program as a Saudi Fellow. Her research interests are focused on current global movements in educational reform, international higher education, student development, and issues of social justice and advocacy within higher education. Specifically, she explores the lives of students who define themselves as living between worlds across issues of ability, race, religion, gender expression and the like. Email: 

Mi Chelle Leong, Louisiana Tech University

Mi Chelle Leong, MEd is a Ph.D. student at Louisiana Tech University in I/O Psychology program. She earned her B.S. in Psychology from Upper Iowa University and M.Ed in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Texas Tech University. Michelle is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Texas and a registered counselor in Malaysia. Her current research interests are in corporate sustainability, videoconferencing technology in recruitment and selection, remote work, and DEI initiatives. Email:

Hugo A. Garcia, Texas Tech University

Hugo A. García, PhD is an Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University. He obtained his B.A. in international relations from UC-San Diego, M.Ed. in higher education administration and student affairs from the University of Southern California, and a Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in higher education from Claremont Graduate University. His research interests pertain to access and equity in higher education, retention of underrepresented students at two- and four-year postsecondary institutions, international higher education, diversity in higher education, and P-20 education pipeline. Specifically, his work focuses on conducting research on community colleges and their impact on underrepresented students’ academic success, student transition to community colleges and four-year institutions, institutional responses to globalization and the internationalization of higher education, and educational outcomes for students of color throughout the educational pipeline. Email:


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How to Cite

Herridge, A. S., Bodine Al-Sharif, M. A., Leong, M. C., & Garcia, H. (2022). LGBTQIA+ International Students and Socioemotional Well-Being: Impact of Intersectionality on Perceived Experiences and Campus Engagement. Journal of International Students, 13(2), 95–113.

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