The Self, the Other, and the International Student


  • David Starr-Glass State University of New York – Empire State College



Difference, identity creation, logic of opposition, perpetual journeys, personal transitions, relationships


A sense of strangerhood, which is different from social isolation or cultural alienation, is common among many of the international students whom I encounter. In a world increasingly preoccupied with personal interaction and social exchange, many of these students perceive strangerhood as problematic and inherently negative. This brief reflection considers strangerhood from the perspective of Georg Simmel and argues that being a stranger has considerable positive value. Recognition of strangerhood is a critical element in developing a greater understanding of both the self and the Other. Legitimizing the experience of strangerhood, emphasizing its potential value, and empowering students to embrace it may provide significant short- and long-term benefits for international students in their personal and transformative journeys.

Author Biography

David Starr-Glass, State University of New York – Empire State College

DAVID STARR-GLASS, MBA, is a mentor with the International Programs (Prague Unit) of the State University of New York, Empire State College and a research associate at the University of New York in Prague, Czech Republic. David teaches a wide range of business related courses and serves as the supervisor for undergraduate dissertations, mentoring final year students in designing and writing their work. He has also contributed more than a twenty chapters to edited books and published extensively in the international business, online distance learning, and mentoring literatures. 




How to Cite

Starr-Glass, D. (2016). The Self, the Other, and the International Student. Journal of International Students, 6(1), 314–318.



Cross-Border Narratives