Social Capital and the U.S. College Experiences of International Student-Athletes and Non-Athletes

Helen Forbes-Mewett, Madeleine Laura Pape

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This study shifts the tendency to focus on international students’ negative experiences of undertaking education in a host country to a group that enjoys an elevated level of support. By looking at international student-athletes compared with non-athletes, it is shown how the former group experiences the benefits of social capital. Insights relating to international student-athletes in the US reveal strong and ongoing support from coaches and teammates. It is shown that international student-athletes have far greater support structures compared with international non-athletes. In doing so, this study presents a new perspective to debates on what higher education institutions in host countries can do to support their international student populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)777-794
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of International Students
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2019


  • athletes
  • college
  • international students
  • social capital
  • student experience

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