Project RISE: Research on the International Student Experience

Purpose of Study

The goal of this study is to understand the interplay of personal factors (e.g., home culture collectiveness, perceived language skills) and institutional factors (e.g., domestic student social support, academic stress) on international students’ adjustment, including belonging, psychological well-being, and academic achievement.

This study will extend prior research with larger sample of international students on F-1 visas at institutions across the U.S. to understand which factors are most critical for their successful adjustment. A large multi-institutional longitudinal study will allow us to investigate students’ outcomes by country or region of origin so that we can provide more precise information relevant to your international student population.

Detail Overview

Who: International students on F-1 visas studying at colleges and universities in the U.S. at participating institutions can join in this study

What: Study participants are asked to complete three surveys (15 minutes each):

  • Fall 2020
  • Spring 2021
  • Fall 2021

Benefits for Institutions

Participating institutions will receive the following in December 2020, June 2020, and December 2021:

  • Invitation to webinars to review and discuss findings
  • Document of study findings
  • Report of average scores for your students compared to national sample and peer institutions

Benefits for Student Participants

Participating students will have access to the following benefits:

  • Invitation to webinars to discuss findings in Spring 2022
  • Enter into drawing to win $50 gift card at each timepoint
  • Access to publications from this research project

Funding and IRB

This research is made possible through funding from the Center for Research on Abroad and International Student Engagement, Wake Forest University

This research project (#00023524) has been approved by the Wake Forest University Institutional Review Board

How can our institution support this study?

We welcome the opportunity to collaborate! If you are interested in supporting this study, please contact the study team at or 336.758.7053.

Our timeline is as follows:

  • March-July: Recruit participating institutions
  • July-September: Receive international student contact information (names and emails only) from your office

Project RISE Team

Principal Investigator
Nelson Brunsting, PhD
Staff photo Nelson Brunsting
Research Associate Professor
International Studies
Wake Forest University

Liza Prentice, PhD
Liza Prentice photo
Affiliated Researcher
Wake Forest University

Study Coordinator
Sonali Kathuria
Sonali Kathuria staff photo
Research Coordinator
Global Research and Assessment
Wake Forest University