2024 Livingstone Undergraduate Research Award in General Education

Livingstone Undergraduate Research Award in General Education

Livingstone Undergraduate Research Award in General Education

Rocco Haeufgloeckner

Rocco Haeufgloeckner

International Students’ Academic Challenges at American Colleges

View Rocco’s project online

in TUScholarShare, Temple University’s institutional repository

I conducted research on international students and their problems at American colleges in the course of the class Analytical Reading and Writing. We learned about different cultures of learning and international students’ difficulties and adjustment to American colleges. These challenges can negatively impact their academic performance and overall study-abroad experience. My literature review highlights the need for awareness and support services to help international students overcome these challenges and succeed academically. 

What is your major and expected year of graduation?

I am currently a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering. My expected graduation is spring 2026. 

What inspired you to pursue your project?   

Since I am an international student myself, I was able to identify with the topic right away, which made me invest more time and research into the topic. The class’s second essay was especially interesting to me since we got to pick a topic. “International Students’ Academic Challenges at American Colleges“ was the perfect choice for me since it not only matched perfectly with the text readings we had in class and had to include in our research paper, but this topic also reflected my personal difficulties in adapting to the American college system.   

What does winning this award mean to you?  

I honestly did not expect to win this award. I would like to thank my professor, Eunsook H. Rhee, who helped me in the process of my project and who let me know of this award opportunity. It means a lot to me and I hope talking about the difficulties of adjusting to a new environment academically can improve the situation for those students. 

How did the Libraries support your research?

I utilized Temple Libraries to research external sources concerning the challenges faced by international students at American colleges. This allowed me to enhance my understanding of the topic and integrate it with my personal experiences. It was my first time using this valuable resource, and I also used it for many other classes. Moreover, I began engaging in verbal discussions with a writing assistant at the Charles Library, which proved immensely beneficial during the writing process. The opportunity to articulate my ideas and receive immediate feedback on my essay helped me address my difficulties with speaking and writing in my second language. 

Rocco Haeufgloecner, an international student using English as a second language, showed a keen interest in topics related to a wide range of learning cultures, explored in the course of Analytical Reading and Writing: ESL. He situated himself within the important intellectual arguments covered in class, and used his educational backgrounds and recent experiences in American higher education as assets to understand course materials. For his research project, Rocco adeptly chose a specific topic—academic challenges faced by international students. Throughout the research process, he demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of the literature and exhibited insight into the adjustment needs of international students. Over multiple drafts, Rocco effectively articulated his intellectual arguments, incorporating reliable sources and engaging his readers in thought-provoking discussions. 

Eunsook Ha Rhee, Associate Professor, College of Liberal Arts