International student acculturation: How East-Asian students adapt to life in the UK

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Abstract

When individuals move to an unfamiliar culture, they are faced with complex decisions regarding maintenance of their original culture and adaptation to the behaviours of the host culture, resulting in four potential adaptation styles (assimilation, integration, separation and marginalisation). This process is known as acculturation and is particularly relevant to international students, who face a combination of academic and cultural challenges during their sojourn. Students who integrate with the host culture have a more enriching student experience and report higher levels of satisfaction with their university. An acculturation scale was utilised from the literature to investigate the most common acculturation styles used by East Asian students at Northumbria University. A total of 125 respondents completed the 29-item scale online and also submitted demographic information, with internal reliability assessed using Cronbach’s Alpha. The results show that 46% of respondents have adopted an ‘integration’ approach, showing a willingness to adapt to UK life whilst also retaining elements of their original culture. These results are encouraging for university staff responsible for the well-being of international students. However, the proportion of international students who separate themselves from the host culture (37%) clearly suggests that more can be done to support their cultural adaptation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2008
EventNorthumbria Conference 2008: A World of Difference? - Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Duration: 9 Sep 2008 → …

Conference

ConferenceNorthumbria Conference 2008: A World of Difference?
Period9/09/08 → …

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