Exploring East Asian Undergraduate Students’ Perceptions about the Effectiveness of their Preparation for Study Abroad for Academic Success in U.S. Universities

Keywords: East asian undergraduate students, study abroad preparations, American Universities, academic success, grounded theory


We use grounded theory as a framework to explore how preparation for studying abroad affects the academic success of East Asian undergraduate students in U.S. universities. Based on interviews with twelve participants from China, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan, we found that knowledge of English language and American culture, which is highly involved with their preparation for study abroad and their undergraduate study in the U.S, are two core categories affecting East Asian students’ academic success. High levels of preparation for study abroad help East Asian students better adapt to American universities. At the same time, East Asian students spend more time on English proficiency tests than learning the culture both before and after they arrive to the U.S., which can be detrimental. We suggest that U.S. universities provide more support for cultural adaptation such as learning communities to have active cultural exchanges within context.


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Author Biographies

Meiren Chen, University of Northern Colorado, USA

MEIREN CHEN, MA, is the International Partnerships Coordinator at University of Northern Colorado. She received her undergraduate degree in English from Communication University of China and her master’s degree in cross-cultural and international education from Bowling Green State University. Previously she worked in positions in study abroad advising in China and international admissions and recruitment in the United States. Her research interests include college admissions, college experiences and outcomes among international students, and cross-cultural adaptation.

Hyeyoung Bang, Bowling Green State University, USA

HYEYOUNG BANG, PhD, is an Associate Professor, and teaches educational psychology, human growth and development, and cross-cultural human development in the School of Educational Foundations, Leadership, and Policy at Bowling Green State University. She utilizes quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods, and Q methodology in her research. Her research agenda includes wisdom in the development of self; morality, virtue, and contemplation in life; acculturation, resilience, and motivation, and schooling international and minority students in the US.


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How to Cite
Chen, M., & Bang, H. (2020). Exploring East Asian Undergraduate Students’ Perceptions about the Effectiveness of their Preparation for Study Abroad for Academic Success in U.S. Universities. Journal of International Students, 10(1), 181-202. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v10i1.1049
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