This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

An Investigation of the Importance of Ethnic Food to International College Students in the United States




Eyoun, Khalid

Type of Degree



Nutrition and Food Science


This study is aimed at investigating the importance of ethnic food to international college students in the U.S. Specifically, this research seeks to investigate the effect of the inclusion of ethnic food into on-campus dining options and the future behavioral intentions and self-reported personal health of international students. Additionally, this research identifies the reasons underlying the importance attached to ethnic food, examines the current perceptions about the availability and quality of ethnic food restaurants and retailers, and identifies the ethnic food dining habits of international students. Due to the lack of previous research in this area, both qualitative and quantitative approaches are necessary in this study to establish a foundation that can be used in future research within this area. This study employs t-test and descriptive statistics to answer the research questions. Overall, this research has discovered that ethnic food is important to international students and that the inclusion of ethnic food into on-campus dining options is a competitive advantage for universities who provide this service over those who do not. The study has also found that university administrators should pay more attention to ethnic food into on-campus dining services. Ethnic food operators also need to focus on certain ethnic food items that international students consider when they dine out.