The Impact of Academic Advising Activities on International Students' Sense of Belonging


  • Dr. Xiao Yuan Independent Researcher at IntelliPro Group Inc, USA
  • Dr. Yang (Lydia) Yang
  • Dr. Craig M. McGill Kansas State University



Academic advisor, cross-cultural empathy, belonging, international students


Research on international students suggests they have a low sense of belonging at the U.S. institutions they attend. This study examined whether academic advisor’s cultural empathy, advisor-advisee rapport, and international students’ advising satisfaction influenced international students’ perspectives of belonging to the institution. We further examined whether cultural empathy and advisor-advisee rapport mediated the effect of advising satisfaction on international students’ sense of belonging. The cross-sectional quantitative study used a convenience sample of 209 international students enrolled in two institutions in the United States. Results indicated that cultural empathy and student advising satisfaction had a statistically significant influence on the sense of belonging, not advisor-advisee rapport, and cultural empathy mediated the effect of advising satisfaction on sense of belonging. We offered recommendations for institutions and academic advisors when working with international students.

Author Biographies

Dr. Xiao Yuan, Independent Researcher at IntelliPro Group Inc, USA

XIAO YUAN, PhD, is an Independent Researcher at IntelliPro Group Inc, USA. She is a quantitative researcher with emphasis on academic advising and international students’ sense of belonging. Email:

Dr. Yang (Lydia) Yang

YANG (LYDIA) YANG, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Special Education, Counseling and Student Affairs at Kansas State University in the United States. Her major research interests lie in quantitative research designs, educational statistics, Q methodology, and recruitment and retention in STEM. Email:

Dr. Craig M. McGill, Kansas State University

CRAIG M. MCGILL, EdD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education, Counseling and Student Affairs at Kansas State University in the United States. He is a qualitative researcher with an emphasis on professional identity, professionalization, feminist, queer and sexuality studies, and social justice. Email:


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2023-09-22 — Updated on 2023-09-30

How to Cite

Yuan, X., Yang, Y., & McGill, C. (2023). The Impact of Academic Advising Activities on International Students’ Sense of Belonging. Journal of International Students, 14(1), 424–448.



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