Exploring the Influence of Student Affairs on Adjustment and Adaptation for Indonesian Graduate Students


  • David J. Nguyen Ohio University, United States
  • Jay B. Larson Michigan State University, United States




adaptation, adjustment, graduate education, , graduate student affairs, Indonesian students, international education, student affairs


This qualitative study explored the influence of student affairs on academic adjustment and adaptation for 10 Indonesian graduate students at a single campus. Semi-structured interviews explored student affairs’ role in adaptation and transition to collegiate life in the United States. Analyses illuminated ways in which participants experienced disequilibrium attending U.S. institutions arising from pre-arrival constructed images of college life in the United States. Student affairs functional areas disrupted these stereotypes for students and devised strategies for Indonesian students to feel more welcomed and included. Study participants described the importance of culturally-relevant student organizations, inclusive environments, and religiously affiliated centers in their adjustment. The article concludes with practical implications for student affairs professionals and higher education institutions.

Author Biographies

David J. Nguyen, Ohio University, United States

DAVID J. NGUYEN, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs in the Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education, Ohio University. His research interests center on access and equity within graduate education, the role of money in decision-making, and social class issues. 

Jay B. Larson, Michigan State University, United States

JAY B. LARSON, PhD, specializes in internationalization in higher education. His major research interests are intercultural teaching and learning, institutional partnerships, and discourse in academic publishing. 




How to Cite

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), 1010–1029. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v7i4.188



Research Articles (English)