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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The acculturation needs of international students at U.S. universities: A call for online anticipatory orientation
by Garza, Deborah D., Ph.D., University of Kansas, 2015, 161; 3713522
Abstract (Summary)

Over 800,000 international college students come to the U.S. each year adding billions of dollars to our economy and diversity to our campuses (Institute of International Education, 2014). Too often U.S. tertiary institutions leave these students to fend for themselves as far as adjusting to a new culture. Although it is believed that orientation programs are beneficial, there is a dearth of scholarship into what needs to be covered in an orientation program for international students.

The focus of this study is to determine what international students in the tertiary system would have benefited from knowing before they came to the U.S. What would help their adaptation to a new culture and a new university/academic system? Furthermore, if students do prepare themselves for their sojourn to the U.S. prior to departure, what resources do they draw from? How effective are those resources? What role does technology, especially social networking, play in their “anticipatory adjustment”?

A review of literature covers various theories and models of acculturation, social networks, student retention, orientation programs, and computer-mediated orientation. While acculturation and the social networks of international students have been studied for several decades, the study of the retention of international students and specially designed orientation programs for them is sorely lacking.

This study of international students studying in Kansas City and surrounding areas combined web-based questionnaires that have been in use in cross-cultural studies for several decades with original questions geared toward the specific purpose of the study. The data were both numerical and descriptive. After the initial data analysis, several international students were interviewed in order to gain further insight into the experience of acculturating to the U.S. The findings and assertions from these data made from the data analysis in this mixed methods study lead to recommendations that will hopefully have the potential to positively facilitate the anticipatory adjustment of international students as they begin to acculturate to the U.S.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Peter, Lizette A.
Commitee: Jorgensen, Karen A., Mahlios, Marc C., Markham, Paul L., Ng, Jennifer
School: University of Kansas
Department: Curriculum and Teaching
School Location: United States -- Kansas
Source: DAI-A 76/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: English as a Second Language, Educational technology
Keywords: Acculturation, International students, Orientation
Publication Number: 3713522
ISBN: 978-1-321-90065-1
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