Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

International students' transition and adjustment to American higher education: Issues and challenges for Nigerian students
by Ukomadu, Linus C., Ed.D., University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 2010, 397; 3465708
Abstract (Summary)

One of the major challenges that confront Nigerian undergraduate students in American higher education is reconciling the demands of a low-context culture (American culture) and a high-context culture (Nigerian culture). The reason is the absence of Nigerian students' familiar culture. This qualitative case study describes the issues and challenges that enhance or impede Nigerian students' transition and adjustment and academic success. The conceptual dimensions explain the nature of psychological factors, person environment-fit conditions, socio-cultural factors, student support services, organizational culture, and process of transition and adjustment.

The data were collected from fifteen Nigerian students and six international programs administrators from three public universities in Arkansas. Focus group interview was conducted with five Nigerian students at each university and one-on-one interview was conducted with the administrators. The motive for doing focus group interview with Nigerian students was their community-oriented culture. The data analysis showed some similarities and differences between the understandings of administrators and Nigerian students on what constitutes success.

These surprises emerged from the study. (1) Door knocking which is the international students' last minute of doing something. (2) What the Nigerian students needed for their academic success was encouragement, not persuasion. (3) Commonality of Blackness which is similarity of skin color between Nigerian students and African American students that helps them to easily establish relationships. (4) Weekend loneliness which is the additional loneliness felt by Nigerian students on the weekends. (5) Smiling factor and eye-contact effect which is the strategy used by Nigerian students to familiarize themselves with other students. It is assumed that recommendations from this study will reduce the difficulties occasioned by the transition and adjustment process of international students to American higher education.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Barrett, T. Gregory, Kuykendall, John A.
Commitee: Austin, Jan L., Richardson, Sharon A.
School: University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Arkansas
Source: DAI-A 72/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational sociology, Higher education
Keywords: Acculturation, Adjustment, Education, International, Nigerian, Students, Transition
Publication Number: 3465708
ISBN: 9781124779683
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