Chinese Students’ Transcultural Strategies: Intentions to Navigate Identity Conflicts and Expand Their Identities Through Hong Kong Study Experiences


  • Saihua Xia Murray State University
  • Winnie Cheng



acculturation strategy, Chinese international students, identity conflict, identity expansion, integration, intention


This study investigates Chinese international students’ acculturation strategies and pragmatic intentions to address identity conflicts in Hong Kong study experiences through a developmental lens. We treat conflicts and stressors as indicators of active commitments and the process of engagement as strategic, goal-oriented, intentional investments to become better selves. Undergraduates (N = 95) enrolled in a Hong Kong university participated: 85 completed a Cultural Practices Questionnaire about daily activities; 10 completed semi-structured interviews on their acculturation strategies, identity conflicts, and justifications. Mixed method data analysis highlighted strategies rooted in goals, choices, consistency, and commitment. Several pragmatic intentions were also identified. Participants considered academic study,language learning, club activities, communicating with friends, volunteering, and interacting with diverse people as fundamental active commitments. An alternative definition of “integration strategy” is proposed to better capture students’ transcultural choices and decolonize the view that students are expected to conform to the host culture.


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How to Cite

Xia, S., & Cheng, W. (2023). Chinese Students’ Transcultural Strategies: Intentions to Navigate Identity Conflicts and Expand Their Identities Through Hong Kong Study Experiences. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 15(2), 63–93.



Empirical Article