The Academic Culture Shock Experiences of Turkish International Students in Japan: A Qualitative Study


Universities in Japan host a substantial number of international students including Turkish students. The number of Turkish students in Japan estimated is 160. The Turkish culture is a combination of the Western and the Eastern cultural elements, and the synthesis of both collectivistic and individualistic cultures whereas Japan is considered a collectivistic country. Although there is a substantial body of research that focuses on international students from Asian and Western countries in Japan, there is little research that investigates the academic experiences of Turkish international students in Japan. The present research focuses on academic culture shock. This research explores academic culture shock experiences of 21 Turkish international students (12 females and nine males, ages 25 to 37 years) in the context of Japanese universities. The research draws on data from structured, in-depth interviews with Turkish international students to identify the stressors, difficulties and problems related to academic culture shock. After interview transcripts were read several times, each transcript was individually examined via qualitative analysis, with the aim being to develop or identify possible themes. According to the results, there emerged some themes or meaning units related to academic culture shock. For example, supervision style, lab system and teaching style are the three areas where most of the students had difficulties to understand and adjust. The results showed it is associated with their cultural background. Differences in individual vs group-based tendencies are considered one of the reasons that can explain academic culture shock.

Author Information
Ayse Ilgin Sozen, Okayama University, Japan
Tomoko Tanaka, Okayama University, Japan
Sachiko Nakano, Yamaguchi University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2018
Stream: International Education

This paper is part of the ACE2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon