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Adaptation and international students' perceptions of on-campus foodservice

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this study is to investigate whether length of time spent in the USA impacts perceptions of international students studying in US schools regarding the service and food quality of on-campus foodservice operations. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The researchers surveyed international students at one Southeastern and one Southwestern university in the USA regarding their perceptions of university foodservice, divided into six factors, i.e. service and sanitation, food dislikes, selection and taste, drinks, value, and crowding. A two-way MANOVA test was performed using SPSS Version 17.0 to identify any significant differences between the six factors, time in the USA, and universities. Findings ‐ MANOVA testing indicated that there was a significant difference between length of time in the USA and the ratings of the service and sanitation factor. The group that had been in the USA for less than six months rated the service and sanitation factor higher than the group who had been in the USA for over a year. Research limitation/implications ‐ Campus administrators and food service operators need to consider that the interaction and socialization provided by the on-campus dining experience may be an important step of the adaption process for international students. Originality/value ‐ The study applies theoretical concepts regarding service quality and adaptation that have not been used previously to study international students and their on-campus foodservice preferences.
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Keywords: Acculturation; Consumer behaviour; Expatriates; Food and drink products; Schools; Service quality; Students

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-10-19

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