Asian international student and asian American student: Mistaken identity and racial microaggressions

Hye Jin Tina Yeo, Ruby Mendenhall, Stacy Anne Harwood, Margaret Browne Huntt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines the experiences of Asian American students who are mistaken as Asian international students; it provides insight into domestic students’ perceptions of and potential racial microaggressive experiences of international students. Drawing from racial microaggression survey data of Asian Americans, this study highlights the multiple layers of overt racism, microaggressions, and xenophobia directed against students who are perceived as Asian international students. The Asian American students’ narratives reveal that international students are often racialized by skin color, English proficiency, and nationality, which reflect U.S. racist framings of Asian Americans. Thus, we argue that racial experiences of Asian international students should be addressed as a part of U.S. racial ideology, notions of Whiteness, and racial microaggressions on campus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-65
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of International Students
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Asian American students
  • Asian international students
  • Higher education
  • Race
  • Racial campus climate
  • Racial microaggressions
  • Racialization
  • Stereotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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