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

Abstract

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.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

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.

References

Academic Ranking of World Universities (2018). Retrieved April, 5, 2019, from http://www.shanghairanking.com/

The agent question: New data has the answer. (2014, September 3). ICEF Monitor. Retrieved from http://monitor.icef.com/2014/09/the-agent-question-new-data-has-the-answer/

Bang, H., & Montgomery, D. (2013). Understanding international graduate students’ acculturation using Q methodology. Journal of College Student Development, 54, 343–360.

Berg, B. L., & Lune, H. (2004). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences. Pearson.

Bergenfeld, A. M. (2011). Summer Bridge Program at the University of San Francisco for conditionally admitted Chinese students [Unpublished master thesis, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California]. https://digitalcollections.sit.edu/capstones/2451/

Chan, W. L. (2014). Hong Kong secondary school English teachers’ beliefs and their influence on the implementation of task-based language teaching. In English language education and assessment (pp. 17–34). Springer.

Choi, S. H. J., & Nieminen, T. A. (2013). Factors influencing the higher education of international students from Confucian East Asia. Higher Education Research & Development, 32(2), 161–173.

Chou, C. P., & Ho, A.-H. (2007). Schooling in Taiwan. In G. A. Postiglione & J. Tan (Eds.), Going to school in East Asia (pp. 344–377). Greenwood.

College Board. (2014). Annual AP program participation 1956-2014. Retrieved from http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/research/2014/Prog-Summary-Report-2014.pdfconundrum.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Flaitz, J. (2003). Understanding your international students: An educational, cultural, and linguistic guide. University of Michigan Press.

Fong, V. (2007). Parent–child communication problems and the perceived inadequacies of Chinese only children. Ethos, 35(1), 85–127.

Gong, X., & Huybers, T. (2015). Chinese students and higher education estimations: Findings from a choice experiment. Australian Journal of Education, 59, 196–218.

Hagedorn, L. S., & Zhang, Y. (2011). The use of agents in recruiting Chinese undergraduates. Journal of Studies in International Education, 15(2), 186–202.

Hendrickson, B., Rosen, D., & Aune, R. K., (2010). An analysis of friendship networks, social connectedness, homesickness, and satisfaction levels of international students. International Journal of International Relations, 35(3), 281–295.

Hong Kong Education Bureau. (2020). Education system and policy. Retrieved January 28, 2020 from http://www.edb.gov.hk/en/edu-system/list-page.html

Institute of International Education. (2019). Open Doors report on international educational exchange. Retrieved November 18, 2019 from http://www.iie.org/opendoors

Institute of International Education. (2019). Open Doors report on international educational exchange. Retrieved November 18, 2019 from https://www.iie.org/Research-and-Insights/Open-Doors/Data/Intensive-English-Programs/Places-of-Origin

International Baccalaureate. (n.d.). Find an IB world school. Retrieved from January 28, 2020 https://www.ibo.org/programmes/find-an-ib-school/

James-MacEachern, M., & Yun, D. (2017). Exploring factors influencing international students’ decision to choose a higher education institution: A comparison between Chinese and other students. International Journal of Educational Management, 31(3), 343–363.

Kim, T. (2009). Confucianism, modernities and knowledge: China, South Korea and Japan. In International handbook of comparative education (pp. 857–872). Springer.

Kwon, T., Lee, T., & Shin, D. (2017) Educational assessment in the Republic of Korea: lights and shadows of high-stake exam-based education system, Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 24:1, 60-77.

Lee, C. K. C., & Morrish, S. C. (2012). Cultural values and higher education choices: Chinese families. Australasian Marketing Journal, 20(1), 59–64.

Lee, M., Leung, L., Wright, E., Yue, T., Gan, A., Kong, L., & Li, J. (2013). A study on the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in China: The program influence on students’ study in overseas universities. https://www.ibo.org/contentassets/d1c0accb5b804676ae9e782b78c8bc1c/ibchinafullreportenglish.pdf

Li, G., Chen, W., & Duanmu, J-L. (2010). Determinants of international students’ academic performance: A comparison between Chinese and other international students. Journal of Studies in International Education, 14, 389–405. https://doi.org/10. 1177/1028315309331490

Lin, J., Peng, W., Kim, M., Kim, S. Y., & LaRose, R. (2011). Social networking and adjustments among International Students. New Media & Society, 14(3), 421– 440.

Liu, O. L. (2014). Investigating the relationship between test preparation and TOEFL iBT performance. ETS Research Report Series, 2014, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1002/ets2.12016

Martirosyan, N. M., Hwang, E., & Wanjohi, R. (2015). Impact of English proficiency on academic performance of international students. Journal of International Students, 5, 60–71.

Mazzarol, T., & Soutar, G. N. (2002). “Push-pull” factors influencing international student destination choice. International Journal of Educational Management, 16(2), 82–90.

Mitsui, N. (2009). Accommodating CLT in Korean EFL classrooms [Unpublished master thesis, Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington].

Muthanna, A., & Sang, G. (2015). Undergraduate Chinese students’ perspective on Gaokao Examination: Strengths, weaknesses, and implication. International Journal of Research Studies in Education, 5(2), 3–12. Retrieved from http://consortiacademia.org/wp-content/uploads/IJRSE/IJRSE_v5i2/1224-4288-1-PB.pdf

New Oriental Education and Technology Group. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.neworiental.org/english/who/201507/8213540.html

Nuffic. (2013). Education and diplomas South Korea. https://www.nuffic.nl/en/subjects/education-and-diplomas-south-korea/

Oliver, R., Vanderford, S., & Grote, E. (2012). Evidence of English language proficiency and academic achievement of Non-English-Speaking background students. Higher Education Research and Development, 31, 541–555.

Pan, L & Block, D. (2011). English as a “global language” in China: An investigation into learners' and teachers' language beliefs. System. 39 (3). 391-402.

Park, H., Byun, S. Y., & Kim, K. K. (2011). Parental involvement and students’ cognitive outcomes in Korea focusing on private tutoring. Sociology of Education, 84(1), 3–22.

Park, J. K. (2009). “English fever” in South Korea: its history and symptoms. English Today, 25(1), 50–57.

Park, J. S. (2011) The promise of English: Linguistic capital and the neoliberal worker in the South Korean job market. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 14, 443–455.

Powers, D., & Rock, D. (1999). Effects of coaching on SAT I: Reasoning test scores. Journal of Educational Measurement, 36(2),93–118.

Ra, Y., & Trusty, J. (2017). Impact of social support and coping on acculturation and acculturative stress of East Asian international students. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 45, 276–291. https://doi.org/10.1002/jmcd.12078

Ritchie, J., & Lewis, J. (2003). Qualitative research practice: A guide for social science students and researchers. Sage.

Roberts, M. (2002). TOEFL preparation: What are our Korean students doing and why? The Korea TESOL Journal, 5(1), 81-106

Rogoff, B. (2003). The cultural nature of human development. Oxford University Press.

Salyers, V., Carston, C. S., Dean, Y., & London, C. (2015). Exploring the motivations, expectations, and experiences of students who study in global settings. Journal of International Students, 5(4), 368–382.

Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. (2014). Academic ranking of world universities. Retrieved from http://www.shanghairanking.com/ARWU2014.html

Starr, D. (2012). China and the Confucian education model. (A position paper). Universitas 21. 1-26. https://www.abebooks.com/9780957006614/China-Confucian-Education-Model-Don-0957006616/plp

Suen, H. K., & Yu, L. (2006). Chronic consequences of high‐stakes testing? Lessons from the Chinese civil service exam. Comparative Education Review, 50(1), 46–65.

Wang, Q. (2007). The national curriculum changes and their effect on English language teaching in the People’s Republic of China. In J. Cummins & C. Davison (Eds.), International handbook of English language teaching: Part one (pp. 87–105). Springer.

Winn, P. (2012, January, 4). Elite Asian students cheat like mad on US college applications. Globalpost. http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/thailand/120103/US-college-application-fraud-asia-elite-economy-china

Wu, H., Garza, E., & Guzman, N. (2015). International student’s challenge and adjustment to college. Education Research International, 2015, Article 202753.

Xie, H. (2011). Zhong guo jiao yu tong ji nian jian [Educational statistics yearbook of China]. People’s Education Press.

Yan, K., & Berliner, D. C. (2013). Chinese international students' personal and sociocultural stressors in the United States. Journal of College Student Development, 54(1), 62–84.

Zhang, Y., & Hagedorn, L. S. (2011). College application with or without assistance of an Education agent: Experience of international Chinese undergraduates in the US. Journal of College Admission, 212, 7–16.

Published
2020-02-15
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
Section
Research Articles