Challenges Facing Mexican Students in the United Kingdom

Implications for Adaptation During the Early Stage


  • Elizabeth Margarita Hernández López University of Guadalajara, Mexico



challenges, cultural distance, culture shock, early period, Mexican international students


This article reports data drawn from a doctoral qualitative case study conducted during the 2016–2017 academic calendar. The study explored the academic, sociocultural, and affective challenges a cohort of Mexican postgraduate international students faced during their first 2 weeks at a university in England. Twenty students participated in three focus groups, while seven were involved in in-depth interviews. The findings support the notion that the adaptation experiences of Mexican postgraduate international students in the United Kingdom are like those of other groups of overseas students. They undergo an extensive array of challenges related to the perceived extent of cultural distance and differences in individual and societal characteristics, as outlined by Ward et al. (2001). Concerning the early stage, findings did not seem to support traditional views of culture shock (Adler, 1975; Lysgaard, 1955; Oberg, 1960).

Author Biography

Elizabeth Margarita Hernández López, University of Guadalajara, Mexico

ELIZABETH M. HERNANDEZ LOPEZ, PhD, is a lecturer in the Modern Languages Department, University of Guadalajara. Her major research interests lie in the area of the internationalization of higher education, intercultural communication, and foreign language teaching and learning.


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How to Cite

Hernández López, E. M. (2020). Challenges Facing Mexican Students in the United Kingdom: Implications for Adaptation During the Early Stage. Journal of International Students, 10(4), 1005–1022.



Research Articles (English)