Cross-cultural Adaptation of International College Students in the United States
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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