Does Being in Proximity Encourage Interactions Between Domestic and International Students?

Faculty Sponsor

Matthew Ringenberg


Arts and Sciences


Social Work

ORCID Identifier(s)

0000-0001-6402-0711, 0000-0003-3296-0332, 0000-0002-9594-2732

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-23-2016


The aim of this study is to explore if the proximity between international and domestic students promotes interaction. The sample we used includes international and domestic students on Valparaiso University’s campus. We focused on the Middle Eastern, African, and non-white international population.

Participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire that deals with how much time they spend in certain areas on campus; specifically spaces that are known to have a high international crowd.We hope that our research shows that being in proximity is effective in creating opportunities for communication. Universities can then begin to intentionally implement policies and programs to increase the likelihood of American and international students being in proximity with one another. Often, people are looked down upon, feared, or simply not understood because they come from a different background. If proximity can increase interaction between students, there is a high chance that the negative associations between the two populations will decrease.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Eleni Kaldis, Stacia Hackmann, and Dani McCuan are all social work majors who are pursuing their Bachelors of Social Work degree. Eleni and Stacia are juniors and Dani is a senior.

The three authors completed this project for their research methods class. All of the authors become interested in doing this project because they all have a passion for relations between international and domestic students. They wanted to know more about the relationship between the two groups on the Valpo campus. They hope to share their findings with the Valpo community in order to improve relations between international and domestic students.

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