Contributing and Inhibiting Factors of Cultural Adjustment


There is a growing population of international students in U.S., and though previously only the elite or scholastically advanced students were able to study abroad, currently this experience is becoming more easily accessible. As this new demographic grows, questions arise on how to make international students experience in U.S. more positive and less stressful. Asian students make up the largest demographic of students studying in U.S., and though there is a plethora of literature on Asian students studying in major cities in U.S., the rural area students have been somewhat neglected. This study looks into the factors and behaviors that contribute and inhibit Asian students adjustment to life in rural U.S.. Through ethnographic approach, one year of fieldwork was undertaken at a small sized university in rural U.S.. Through observations, interviews, open-ended surveys and other artifacts the lives of 28 students from Japan, China and Korea are examined. The behaviors' of students during the five stages of adjustment that help or inhibit the adjustment process in social and academic settings are described in this paper. There is a common point in the struggles with group work and class discussions found in the narratives of all three groups of students. Furthermore, in the discourse of adjustment process, the role of U.S. institutions and the effect of American attitudes toward foreigners is discussed.

Author Information
Anya Hommadova, University of Tsukuba, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACSS2016
Stream: Anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Studies and Humanities

This paper is part of the ACSS2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon