Acculturative stress and disengagement: Learning from the adjustment challenges faced by East Asian international graduate students

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


International graduate students meet TOEFL, GPA, and other admissions criteria to gain entry into US colleges and
universities. During their stay in the USA, they provide educational and economic contributions for their host country.
In contrast to their educational and economic potential, international students often demonstrate poor academic and
social integration at their host institutions. Grounded theory methodology was used to investigate what accounts for the
academic, cultural, and social adjustment problems faced by East Asian graduate students pursuing studies at an elite
private not-for-profit university in the USA. Findings reveal that students experienced lowered self-confidence and
acculturative stress as a result of challenges encountered during their first year, language barriers, different teaching
styles and teaching environments, and their interactions with professors. Raising faculty sensitivity to cultural
differences among international students, early adjustment counseling and obtaining regular feedback are
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-77
JournalInternational Journal of Higher Education
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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