This week, our speaker is HCIL’s own Chi-Young Oh, Ph.D. candidate in Information Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. His areas of research span information behavior, human-computer interaction, health informatics, and community informatics. He will give a talk about “Small Worlds in a Distant Land: International Newcomer Students’ Local Information Behavior in Unfamiliar Environments”.

Time: 04/26 (Thursday) from 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Place: HCIL, Room 2105, Hornbake Building, South Wing
Food: Bring Your Own Lunch


International students are a rapidly growing sub-population of students, and the United States, as a top destination, has hosted students from 218 different countries. However, as with other international newcomers, these students face various types of challenges in a new country. Studies have reported the challenges this population faces in regard to cultures, academic systems, and general adjustments, but research is less clear about the challenges they face in terms of information behaviors during adjustment to a new country. This study addresses the information behaviors of international newcomer students in the context of adjustment to new local environments; that is, their local information behavior (LIB). Specifically, drawing on prior work and theories, this research conceptualizes the idea of “socio-national context,” the degree to which there are individuals from the same country available in one’s local environment, as a factor influencing international newcomer students’ information behavior. Through the findings from this longitudinal mixed-method study of international and U.S. graduate students in different socio-national contexts, it is argued that information behavior theories and models need to account for people’s socio-national contexts if they are to inform research involving international newcomer students and provide insights on designing systems and services for all international newcomer students, especially those from countries that tend to be less well-represented among international students in a host country.


Chi Young Oh is a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland, College Park’s College of Information Studies. His areas of research span information behavior, human-computer interaction, health informatics, and community informatics, and his dissertation research examines international newcomer students’ information behaviors during adjustment to a host country. Chi Young holds an MS in Information Science (with a concentration in Human-Computer Interaction) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a BA in Psychology, a BA in Library and Information Science, and a BBA in Business Administration from Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea. Prior to joining University of Maryland, he was a user experience researcher in the UX Lab of internet search portal Daum in South Korea and a new product planner and assistant marketing manager at LG Electronics.