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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


International Studies

First Advisor

Kent Warren

First Committee Member

Nagesh Rao

Second Committee Member

Phyllis Thompson


The field of Foreign Student Advising has undergone significant change over the last 25 years, outpacing the seminal guidance in the field provided in The Handbook of Foreign Student Advising by Gary Althen, first published in 1983 and revised in 1995. Foreign Student Advisors (FSAs) are professionals employed at institutions of higher education or nonprofit organizations, who work with nonimmigrant students (primarily those in F and J nonimmigrant status). Their essential function is to ensure the student's legal status and help promote adaptation to and academic success in the U.S. The field of Foreign Student Advising is inherently complex and intercultural, more so today due to the ever-present and increasing federal government parameters following 9/11/01.

This thesis addresses these changes by providing a compendium to supplement The Handbook. The steps taken prior to writing the compendium include: consultation with Althen, a critical analysis of what does and does not work in The Handbook for today's FSA. a survey of a select group of international education leaders to determine what topics should be included in the compendium, and a review of the literature and research about FSAs with a focus on what has been written since 1995.

In order to secure the most meaningful feedback on the major developments in the field, a survey was conducted with fifteen past presidents of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, who had a Foreign Student Advising background and were still active in the field. This information, in combination with the current literature from the field, reflections from my twenty-plus years of FSA experience, and guidance from Althen was used to prepare a compendium to The Handbook. The Compendium provides updated guidance, addressing some of the major changes in the field of Foreign Student Advising.



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