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A review of the acculturation experiences of international students

Smith, Rachel & Khawaja, Nigar (2011) A review of the acculturation experiences of international students. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 35(6), pp. 699-713.

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Abstract

Universities in Western countries host a substantial number of international students. These students bring a range of benefits to the host country and in return the students gain higher education. However, the choice to study overseas in Western countries may present many challenges for the international student including the experience of acculturative stress and difficulties with adjustment to the environment of the host country. The present paper provides a review of current acculturation models as applied to international students. Given that these models have typically been empirically tested on migrant and refugee populations only, the review aims to determine the extent to which these models characterise the acculturation experience of international students. Literature pertaining to salient variables from acculturation models was explored including acculturative stressors encountered frequently by international students (e.g., language barriers, educational difficulties, loneliness, discrimination, and practical problems associated with changing environments). Further discussed was the subsequent impact of social support and coping strategies on acculturative stress experienced by international students, and the psychological and sociocultural adaptation of this student group. This review found that the international student literature provides support for some aspects of the acculturation models discussed, however, further investigation of these models is needed to determine their accuracy in describing the acculturation of international students. Additionally, prominent acculturation models portray the host society as an important factor influencing international students’ acculturation, which suggests the need for future intervention.

Impact and interest:

20 citations in Scopus
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12 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 46481
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Acculturation models; International student; Coping
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijintrel.2011.08.004
ISSN: 0147-1767
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: NOTICE: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in International Journal of Intercultural Relations. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Volume 35, Issue 6, November 2011, Pages 699–713, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijintrel.2011.08.004
Deposited On: 14 Oct 2011 08:43
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2013 07:06

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