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The sociocultural adjustment trajectory of international university students and the role of university structures: a qualitative investigation

Coles, Rebecca and Swami, Viren (2012) The sociocultural adjustment trajectory of international university students and the role of university structures: a qualitative investigation. Journal of Research in International Education, 11 (1). pp. 87-100. ISSN 1475-2409

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1475240911435867

Abstract

The present research explores the sociocultural adjustment of international students and the role played by university structures in the process. The adjustment process of international students has been modelled in psychological literature as a U-curve, a learning curve and most recently as a long, uneven and unending process of change. Yet, little of the literature has addressed the role played in this process by university structures. The research was conducted in the UK with 58 undergraduates from Malaysia. It utilized a qualitative design and consisted of two waves of semi-structured small-group interviews. It was found that university structures, in the form of accommodation provision, course provision, and student union clubs and societies, provide opportunities for integration and adjustment support in the early stages of the sojourn. However, the desire for contact with a wide range of others, central to the adjustment process, takes time to develop in international students. It is suggested that an understanding of adjustment as a long and uneven process should be built into structures aiming to support the adjustment of international students.

Item Type:Article
Research Community:University of Westminster > Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages, School of
ID Code:11412
Deposited On:30 Oct 2012 14:53
Last Modified:30 Oct 2012 14:53

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