“I Was New and I Was Afraid”

The Acculturation Strategies Adopted by International First-Year Undergraduate Students in the United States

  • Masha Krsmanovic University of Southern Mississippi, USA
Keywords: acculturation, culture, first-year students, international students, social integration

Abstract

This article utilized Berry’s acculturation model (1974, 1980, 1997) as the framework for understanding the social experiences of international first-year students in a large, public institution in the Southeast United States. Using a descriptive phenomenological research design and a sample of 10 international students, this study examined the extent to which each of the four strategies defined by the acculturation model—assimilation, integration, separation, and marginalization—emerged from the social experiences of international students during their first year of college. The results revealed that all 10 participants shared the experiences of separation, either voluntary or involuntary. For seven students in the sample, the freshman year was characterized by either willing or unwilling integration. The strategy of assimilation, both freely pursued and imposed, was reported by six students. The least evidence was recorded for the pattern of voluntary or involuntary marginalization, which emerged from the experiences of four respondents.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Author Biography

Masha Krsmanovic, University of Southern Mississippi, USA

MASHA KRSMANOVIC holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education and Policy Studies from the University of Central Florida. She is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of Southern Mississippi. Her preferred pronouns are she, her, and hers. Her research focuses on international students' academic transition and success, social and cultural adjustment, first-year students, international student mobility and access, culturally responsive teaching, and course design.

References

Andrade, M. S. (2005). International students and the first year of college. Journal of the First-Year Experience, 17(1), 101–129.

Baba, Y., & Hosoda, M. (2014). Home away from home: Better understanding of the role of social support in predicting cross-cultural adjustment among international students. College Student Journal, 48(1), 1–15.

Behl, M., Laux, J. M., Roseman, C. P., Tiamiyu, M., & Spann, S. (2017). Needs and acculturative stress of international students in CACREP programs. Counselor Education and Supervision, 56, 305–318. doi:10.1037/dhe0000076

Berry, J. W. (1974). Psychological aspects of cultural pluralism. Culture Learning, 2, 17–22.

Berry, J. W. (1980). Acculturation as varieties of adaptation. In A. M. Padilla (Ed.), Acculturation: Theory, models, and some new findings (pp. 9–25). Westview.

Berry, J. W. (1997). Immigration, acculturation, and adaptation. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 46, 5–34. doi:10.1111/j.1464-0597.1997.tb01087.x

Campbell, J. L., Quincy, C., Osserman, J., & Pedersen, O. K. (2013). Coding in-depth semi- structured interviews: Problems of unitization and intercoder reliability and agreement. Sociological Methods & Research, 42(3), 294–320. doi:10.1177/0049124113500475

Chavajay, P., & Skowronek, J. (2008). Aspects of acculturation stress among international students attending a university in the USA. Psychological Reports, 103, 827–835. doi:10.2466/PRO.103.3.827-835

Glass, C. R. (2012). Educational experiences associated with international students’ learning, development, and positive perceptions of campus climate. Journal of Studies in International Education 16(3) 228–251. doi:10.1177/1028315311426783

Gomez, E., Urzua, A., & Glass, C. R. (2014). International student adjustment to college: Social networks, acculturation, and leisure. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 32(1), 7–25.

Hansen, H. R., Schneiderman, Y., McNamara, G. S., & Grace. L. (2018). Assessing acculturative stress of international students at a U.S. community college. Journal of International Students, 8(1), 215–232. doi:10.5281/zenodo.1134293

Hamamura, T., & Laird, P. G. (2014). The effect of perfectionism and acculturative stress on levels of depression experienced by East Asian international students. Journal of Multicultural Counseling And Development, 42, 205–217. doi:10.1002/j.2161-1912.2014.00055.x

Hirai, R., Fraizer, P., & Syed, M. (2015). Psychological and sociocultural adjustment of first-year international students: Trajectories and predictors. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 62(3), 438–452. doi:10.1037/cou0000085

Institute of International Education. (2019). Open Doors report. https://www.iie.org/en/Research-and-Insights/Open-Doors/Data

Jackson, M., Ray, S., Bybell, D. (2013). International students in the U.S.: Social and psychological adjustment. Journal of International Students, 3(1), 17–28.

Kim, Y. K., Collins, C. S., Rennick, L. A., & Edens, D. (2017). College experiences and outcomes among international undergraduate students at research universities in the United States: A comparison to their domestic peers. Journal of International Students, 7(2), 395–420.

Kim, Y. K., Edens, D., Iorio, M. F., Curtis, C. J., & Romero, E. (2015). Cognitive skills development among international students at research universities in the United States. Journal of International Students, 5(4), 526–540

Lee, J., & Opio, T. (2011) Coming to America: challenges and difficulties faced by African student athletes, Sport, Education and Society, 16(5), 629–644, doi:10.1080/13573322.2011.601144

Leong, P. (2015). Coming to America: Assessing the patterns of acculturation, friendship formation, and the academic experiences of international students at a U.S. college. Journal of International Students, 5(4), 459–474.

Mahmood, H., & Burke, M. G. (2018). Analysis of acculturative stress and sociocultural adaptation among international students at a non-metropolitan university. Journal of International Students, 8(1), 284–307. doi:10.5281/zenodo.1134307

Merriam, S. B., & Tisdell, E. J. (2016). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation. John Wiley & Sons.

Miles, M. B., Huberman, A. M., & Saldana, J. (2014). Qualitative data analysis: A methods sourcebook. SAGE.

Moustakas, C. (1994). Phenomenological research methods. SAGE.

Mwangi, C. A. G., Changamire, N., & Mosselson, J. (2018). An intersectional understanding of African international graduate students’ experiences in U.S. higher education. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 12(1), 52–64. doi:10.1037/dhe0000076

National Resource Center. (2019). 2017 national survey on the first-year experience. https://nrcfye.presswarehouse.com/browse/book/9781942072324/2017-National-Survey-on-The-First-Year-Experience

Nguyen, D. J., & Larson, J. B. (2017). Exploring the influence of student affairs on adjustment and adaptation for Indonesian graduate students. Journal of International Students, 7(4), 1010–2019. doi:10.5281/zenodo.1035955

Rabia, H. M. A. (2017). Undergraduate Arab international students’ adjustment to U.S. universities. International Journal of Higher Education, 6(1), 131–139. doi:10.5430/ijhe.v6n1p131

Rubin, H. J., & Rubin, I. S. (2012). Qualitative interviewing: The art of hearing data (3rd ed.). SAGE.

Shadowen, N. L., Williamson, A. A., Guerra, N. G., Ammigan, R., & Drexler, M. (2019). Prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms among international students: Implications for university support offices. Journal of International Students, 9(1), 129–148. doi:10.32674/jis.v9i1.277

Sidle, M. W., & McReynolds, J. (2009). The freshman year experience: Student retention and student success. NASPA Journal, 46(3), 434–446.

Smith, R. A., & Khawaja, N. G. (2011). A review of the acculturation experiences of international students. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 35, 699–713. doi:10.1016/j.ijintrel.2011.08.004

Starr-Glass, D. (2016). The self, the other, and the international student. Journal of International Students, 6(1), 314–318.

Van Manen, M. (2014). Phenomenology of practice: Meaning-giving methods in phenomenological research and writing. Routledge.

Wu, H. P., Garza, E., & Guzman, N. (2015). International student’s challenge and adjustment to college. Education Research International, 2015, 1–9. doi:10.1155/2015/202753

Ying, Y. W. (2005). Variation in acculturative stressors over time: A study of Taiwanese students in the United States. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 29, 59–71. doi:10.1016/j.ijintrel.2005.04.003

Zhang, Y., & Jung, E. (2018). Multi-dimensionality of acculturative stress among Chinese international students: What lies behind their struggles? International Research and Review, 7(1), 23–43.

Zhou, Y., Zhang, H., & Stodolska, M. (2018). Acculturative stress and leisure among Chinese international graduate students, Leisure Sciences, 40(6), 557–577. doi:10.1080/01490400.2017.1306466

Published
2020-11-15
How to Cite
Krsmanovic, M. (2020). “I Was New and I Was Afraid”. Journal of International Students, 10(4), 954-975. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v10i4.1160
Section
Research Articles