Galinova, Giannetti publish 'Advising International Chinese Students'

Book suggests advising strategies, institutional reforms

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Division of Undergraduate Studies academic advisers Elena Galinova and Irma Giannetti recently authored a book titled “Advising International Chinese Students: Issues, Strategies and Practices” to educate the advising community about this special population and to contribute to discussions about related advising strategies and institutional reforms.

The book draws attention to social, cultural and educational identity-shaping factors that can impact Chinese students’ successful engagement in the overall college experience. It also explains the importance of providing opportunities to international students that support language preparation, social integration, and learning about life and society in the United States.

Published by the National Academic Advising Association, “Advising International Chinese Students” represents NACADA’s first offering within its new Digest Collection, a series that targets specific, relevant advising topics for availability in print as well as electronic and mobile platforms.

Describing “Advising International Chinese Students,” Galinova said, “The book seeks to enhance advisers’ awareness of the factors critical to Chinese students’ adjustment to college life in the United States. It emphasizes the importance of cultivating a comparative and ethnographic mindset in advisers and providing flexible academic guidance and cultural mentoring as foundational aspects of intercultural advising.

“It also complements prior literature and empirical research with an original qualitative study of the perceptions of 30 Chinese undergraduates attending the University Park campus,” she said.

Giannetti added, “An important aspect of this work addresses adviser competency development to inform interactions with international students — understanding the differences and similarities in international student needs compared to those of domestic students and recognizing the impact of cultural coaching and mentoring.”

The publication additionally includes a "Reader’s Guide and Aiming-for-Excellence Activities" section to assist practitioners working with international students in a North American educational setting.

“Advising International Chinese Students: Issues, Strategies and Practices” is available through NACADA at

Galinova is a senior undergraduate studies adviser for the Division of Undergraduate Studies, guiding students through the exploratory process toward majors that match their strengths and interests. She also serves as coordinator of the Think Global advising program for undergraduate students across the system. Her work encourages students to understand and integrate global themes in their college and life experiences. Galinova earned dual doctoral degrees in educational theory and policy and comparative and international education at Penn State.

Giannetti is a senior undergraduate studies adviser for the Division of Undergraduate Studies, working primarily with first- and second-year students considering options before choosing majors. Her professional interests focus on the needs of three special student populations: international, exploratory and underrepresented. She additionally collaborates with literary colleagues on English translations of contemporary Romanian poetry. Giannetti studied languages and literature, earning a master’s degree in English at Texas State University.  

Last Updated May 12, 2016