Developing Culturally Responsive Programs to Promote International Student Adjustment: A Participatory Approach

  • Laura R. Johnson University of Mississippi, United States
  • Tanja Seifen-Adkins University of Mississippi, United States
  • Daya Singh Sandhu University of Mississippi, United States
  • Nadezda Arbles University of Mississippi, United States
  • Hitomi Makino University of Mississippi, United States

Abstract

International students in the United States face acculturative stress, yet few seek counseling. In this paper, we highlight a participatory approach to develop culturally and contextually competent programs to enhance international student adjustment and engagement. We combined findings from the Acculturative Stress Scale of International Students (ASSIS) with interviews eliciting international student concerns and ideas for programming. On the ASSIS, randomly selected international students (n=40) expressed high levels of acculturative stress. These students, along with key informants (n=5) and international student leaders (n=8) formed focus groups, and provided suggestions for programs. Based on these formative results, we developed and described a variety of programs. Our experiences with participatory approaches suggest a promising avenue for enhancing cultural and contextual competence in international student programming.

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Author Biographies

Laura R. Johnson, University of Mississippi, United States

LAURA R. JOHNSON, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Mississippi where she teaches multicultural psychology and supervises outreach programming for international and study abroad students. Dr. Johnson's research includes positive youth development, intercultural attitudes, conservation behaviors, and civic engagement, with a focus on East African youth and the internationalization of psychology.

Tanja Seifen-Adkins, University of Mississippi, United States

TANJA SEIFEN-ADKINS, M.S., is a graduate student in the clinical psychology doctoral program at the University of Mississippi. She received her M.S. in Psychology from the University of Bonn in Germany. Tanja has co-facilitated several outreach programs for international at the University of Mississippi. Her research interests include adjustment and psychological well-being of international students, intercultural competence, and sexual competence among young adults. 

Daya Singh Sandhu, University of Mississippi, United States

DAYA SINGH SANDHU, EdD, is a professor of counselor education and supervision and Director of Research at the Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Kentucky. Dr. Sandhu is a three-time recipient of the Senior Fulbright Research Fellowship for India. Dr. Sandhu’s research interests include multicultural and diversity issues, with a special focus on the South Asian Americans and internationalization of professional counseling, and the role of spirituality in counseling and psychotherapy. 

Nadezda Arbles, University of Mississippi, United States

NADEZDA “NADIA” ARBLES, PhD, co-founded and co-facilitated The Cultural Connections Program at The University of Mississippi during six years of her graduate studies. Her research primarily was focused on the experiences of international students in the process of adjustment and acculturation. Her other research interests included narrative approaches and metaphors in counseling. She is currently specializing in adventure therapy within Healing Hikes Hawai’i private practice. 

Hitomi Makino, University of Mississippi, United States

HITOMI MAKINO, PhD, LPC, is an outpatient therapist at Inova Kellar Center, where she works with children, adolescents, and adults from diverse cultural backgrounds in Northern Virginia for various emotional, relational and family problems. She received her M.Ed. in Community Counseling from the University of Mississippi and her doctorate degree in Professional Counseling from Liberty University. Her research interests include Emotional Intelligence, attachment theory, integration of Christian faith in counseling, and cross-cultural counseling. 

Published
2018-10-01
How to Cite
Johnson, L., Seifen-Adkins, T., Singh Sandhu, D., Arbles, N., & Makino, H. (2018). Developing Culturally Responsive Programs to Promote International Student Adjustment: A Participatory Approach. Journal of International Students, 8(4), 1865–1878. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v8i4.235
Section
Research Articles

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