Cross-cultural Adaptation of International College Students in the United States
Keywords:International students, Psychological adaptation, Socio-cultural adaptation, U-curve
The number of international students attending U.S. colleges and universities has increased considerably over the past decade, and the adaptation of these students is an important concern in cross-cultural research. Using survey data collected from a sample of 169 international students attending a U.S. university, this study examines the temporal patterns of students’ psychological and socio-cultural adaptation. Theresults suggest a two-phase U-curved process of psychological adaptation, with the most obvious culture shock occurring during a student’s first nine to 24 months of residence. Socio-cultural adaptation is found to increase steadily over time, without significant retreat. Interpretations, implications, and limitations of the findings are provided.
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