Traditional Theories for Cross-Cultural Adaptation

Revisiting Their Current Applicability on the Transition of Mexican Postgraduate Students to Life in the UK


  • Elizabeth Margarita Hernández López University of Guadalajara



early adaptation, Mexican international students, pre-departure stage


Employing traditional approaches for cross-cultural adjustment, this paper presents findings from a qualitative case study about the early adaptation of Mexican international students pursuing a postgraduate degree at a British university during the 2016-2017 academic calendars. Data was collected from 15 participants using focus groups and interviews during their third and fourth week of stay. In consonance with empirical evidence (Brown 2008; Schartner 2014), findings revealed that the participants’ feelings within the initial stage of their arrival were not associated with those of “the honeymoon”, but were associated with those of “the crisis” stage (Oberg 1960). Nonetheless, evidence suggests the students, particularly those without previous experience abroad, did go through a “honeymoon” period, which took place prior to the sojourners departure. The implications of these findings for a holistic understanding of the international experience are discussed.


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How to Cite

Hernández López, E. M. (2021). Traditional Theories for Cross-Cultural Adaptation: Revisiting Their Current Applicability on the Transition of Mexican Postgraduate Students to Life in the UK. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 13(4), 59–72.



Empirical Article