Methods: The data from this study is based on measures derived from subsections of the campus climate survey developed by the Administrator-Researcher Campus Climate Collaborative (ARC3). All participants of this study (N=2,173) were from seven universities from the Great Plains and Midwest regions of the United States. Of the 2,155 individuals sampled, 101 of these students identified as international students. A recruitment email that included a link to the online survey was sent to all undergraduate and graduate students. The message included an invitation to participate and information about their rights as a research participant. The email also detailed information about options to report SA incidences and available counseling services. Four indexes were developed as measures based on ARC3 modules: bystander behavior, exposure to information about SA, general knowledge of campus SA resources, and knowledge of resources and process after a SA. Poisson and ordered probit regression were conducted.
Results: Overall, the findings showed key differences. International students in the sample were less likely than non-international students to be exposed to information about SA while at their institution. International students in the sample were more likely than non-international students to report having higher levels of awareness about resources available and processes that occur after a SA. International students were more likely than non-international students to have higher levels of trust that the institution would handle cases of sexual assault appropriately. International students in the sample were more likely than non-international students to report lower levels of prosocial bystander behavior.
Conclusions and Implications: This exploratory study demonstrates that international students report having different experiences and exposure to SA related content than non-international students. Despite the study’s limitations, which include a small international student sample size and the limited geographical location of the campuses where the surveys were administered, the need to more deeply understand the difference in international and non-international students experiences of SA education is evident. For example, future research that examines international and non-international students’ perceptions of SA as part of their educational experience could include where students are receiving SA messages on campus.