Experiences of International Student-Athletes at a Historically Black University


  • Takahiro Sato Kent State University, United States
  • Samuel R. Hodge Ohio State University, United States
  • Kevin Eckert Kent State University, United States




Athletics, International student-athletes, Language differences, Low resource institutions, Positioning, Historically black university


The purpose of the study was to scrutinize and explain the academic, social, and athletic experiences of international student-athletes attending a historically Black university. Participants were six international studentathletes (five men and one woman). Situated in position theory, the research design was explanatory multiple case study. The primary data collection method was semi-structured interviews. The interviews were analyzed using a constant comparative approach and revealed that the participants were positioned by language differences and academic difficulties, were disengaged from some teammates, and endured athletic disadvantages in resources and training. To amply support international student-athletes, we assert that athletic departments, coaches, faculty, and students should respect and value the identities, as well as the linguistic and cultural backgrounds of international student-athletes.

Author Biographies

Takahiro Sato, Kent State University, United States

TAKAHIRO SATO, Ph.D. CAPE, is an Associate Professor in School of Teaching, Learning, & Curriculum Studies at Kent State University, Kent, OH. He served as Health and Physical Education program coordinator at Hampton University (2007–2010). His scholarship and research focuses on multicultural physical education, inclusion in sport, and diversity in higher education.

Samuel R. Hodge, Ohio State University, United States

SAMUEL R. HODGE, Ph.D., is a Professor in Department of Human Sciences at The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. His scholarship and research focuses on social justice pedagogies, diversity, and disability in physical education.

Kevin Eckert, Kent State University, United States

KEVIN ECKERT, MA., is an Assistant Professor of Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) at Kent State University. He was an assistant coach of women’s basketball teams at Indiana University, Bowling Green State University, and State of University of New York at Buffalo. His areas of expertise are working with diverse populations, including the people of color. He received his MA in Athletic Administration from Ohio University and his MA in PETE at Kent State University.




How to Cite

Sato, T., Hodge, S. R., & Eckert, K. (2018). Experiences of International Student-Athletes at a Historically Black University. Journal of International Students, 8(2), 696–723. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v8i2.99



Research Articles (English)

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