Published on March 13, 2014
Cultural Transition Development Theory
"International Education can be viewed as a vehicle through which young people can become better equipped to understand and to contribute to their own increasingly heterogeneous society as well to the wider world beyond"
What is International Education? "A cross-curricular theme that encapsulates and promotes an international dimension in schools and for learners." McMahon (2011)
• According to the Institute of International Education's 2011 data release, about 723,277 international students enrolled are in US colleges and universities • Undergraduate and graduate foreign enrollment has been on the steady rise in the last couple of years ranging 5%-9% • Top three fields of study for international students are : – Business & Management – Engineering – Mathematics and Computer Science
China 22% India 14% South Korea 10% Canada 4% Taiwan 3% Other 47% Enrollment Rate China India South Korea Canada Taiwan Other
1. California 96,535 2. New York 78,888 3. Texas 61,636 4. Massachusetts 38,698 5. Illinois 33,766 6. Other 413, 754 *Statistics referenced from the Institute of International Education website 13% 11% 9% 5% 5% 57% Host Rate California New York Texas Massachusetts Illinois Other
• There are roughly 64 international students (out of 6,400 undergrad and grad students) • Students can attain resources and services through the office of Student Life Sacred Heart University • There are 400+ international students (out of roughly 10,000 undergrad and grad) from 49 different countries enrolled • Center for International Education Salem State University • There is a reported 345 international students (out of 20,604 undergrad and grad) from 50 different countries enrolled • International Programs Office, iPO University of Massachusetts Amherst • There are roughly 49 international students (out of 1,600 undergraduate students) enrolled • Center for Global Education Wheaton College
The purpose of this study was to explore the development of international students on U.S. college campuses.
Participants Germany Ukraine Dominican Republic (2) Ireland Greece/Albania
Kayri Wheaton College Dominican Republic Class of 2014 Neuroscience •Residential Student •Plans to stay in the United States for 8 years •Clubs & Organizations: Club Tennis, Habitat for Humanity, Amnesty International, Wheaton's Women Organization •Reasons for coming to the United States: Better Education and more opportunities •Biggest Transitional Challenges: Adjusting to the Culture, language barrier •Biggest Cultural Challenges: Peers being more open sexually, lack of a strong community (stores, restaurants, recreational places) •Personal Changes: New ideas and views on many different topics, more well rounded in thoughts
Francine Wheaton College Dominican Republic Class of 2014 Bioformatics •Residential Student •Plans to stay in the United States for 3 years •Clubs & Organizations: Latino Student Association, Distinguished Women of Color, Residential Life, Wheaton College Radio •Reasons for coming to the United States :to improve her English and for better job opportunities in Bioformatics •Biggest Transitional Challenges: Language Barrier and Culture Shock. Lack of knowledge of social norms and being “kept” to cultural ties •Biggest Cultural Challenges: The diversity of people •Personal Changes: More social and open. Has more liberal views now. Has now started hanging out with students outside of her (home country) group of friends
Elena Wheaton College Albania/ Greece Class of 2015 Biochemistry •Residential Student •Plans to stay for about 8 years •Clubs & Organizations: Pre-Health Society, Tennis Club, Outdoors Club •Reasons for coming to the United States: for a better education and more opportunities •Biggest Transitional Challenges: Language Barrier •Biggest Cultural Challenges: Peers being more open about their sexual life • Personal Changes: more open minded and has learning how to talk and open up to people earlier in relationships
Nora Sacred Heart University Germany Class of 2015 Undecided Grade Point Average: 4.0 •Residential Student •Took ESL classes 2 years ago and since Spring 2012 enrolled as an undergraduate full-time student with plans to graduate in the US •Clubs & Organizations: Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority, Rotaract •Reasons for coming to the United States: to improve English as a second language, to get to know another way of life, different people, and another culture •Biggest Transitional Challenges: Home Sickness, lack of knowledge about the culture •Biggest Cultural Challenges: learning how people interact with one another. “Let’s hang out” • Personal Changes: improved English and the way she interacts (believe she can change back quickly when she returns home)
Nataliya Salem State University Nicholaev, Ukraine Graduate Student HESA Program •Initially live with a host family, now lives off campus in Boston •Planed to stay for 2 years but the language barrier has prolonged the trip •Graduate Assistant Position: Center for International Education •Reasons for coming to the United States: better future and position in society, more of a personal challenge •Biggest Transitional Challenge: Language Barrier (English was a third language) •Biggest Cultural Challenges: less of a community oriented society, people appreciate diversity more • Personal Changes: more individualistic through voicing her own point of view, ambitious in a different way and better prepared to build a more successful future, not afraid to ask for help and share opinion in class, more appreciative and understanding
Chris University of Massachusetts Amherst Cork,Ireland Economics and Politics •Residential Student for the first semester, then moved off campus •Studied in the United States for 1 year •Reasons for coming to the United States: wanted to try new things and always enjoyed the American Culture •Biggest Transitional Challenges: Making friends initially, language was a small issue because of the accent •Biggest Culture Challenges: more relaxed environment • Personal Changes: improve motivated to socialize with people, very confident during presentations, more competitive to get better grades
Interview Question Examples • What was the hardest part of your transition to a college in the United States? • What resources at the College or University did you find most helpful during your transition? • What are some resources that you wish were available at your college or university? • What do you think are the most difficult issues for international students coming to American Colleges and Universities? • What was the biggest cultural change? • Are there any challenges you have found academically that you can contribute to a difference in culture or environment? • Do you offer your own opinions and views in class discussions? • Do you meet with your professors outside of class? • Do you attend campus events? • What changes have you seen in yourself since you began the international program? • How have you adjusted to the social aspect of college? • What are some of the stressors you face as you are entering and adapting to this culture? • What are some of the coping strategies you have explored?
Existing Theories that Apply to International Education...
Schlossberg's Transition Theory Phinney's Model of Ethnic Identity Cultural Dissonance Theory Baxter Magolda's Theory of Self- Authorship
• Discovers discrepancy between individual needs and opportunities offered at cultural location. • Individual is exposed to another culture through mediums like television, movies, books, the internet, travel etc. • Individual desires opportunities presented at another country's location. • Individual develops expectations for unmet needs and intends to act on expectations. Cultural Transition Development Theory Stage I: Needs vs. Opportunity (Intent)
Stage 1 Examples: Chris & Nataliya
• Research: Individual begins the process of selecting an American school – School counselors – Online • Students begin their process of applying to school, visas, looking for host families • They make their journey to the United States and into their new school and culture
Reasons why our students chose their schools “ I chose a liberal arts school because I wanted a small community like my high school and Wheaton was ranked pretty high so, I decided to apply.” -Francine “I had a choice of there or North Carolina. The facilities and location of UMass appealed to me more than North Carolina.” - Chris “Googled liberal arts, small school, application was free.” -Elena “Since I came with a language program from Germany to New York I visited Universities in the area. I chose Sacred Heart because it was a smaller very personal and friendly University I could see myself in.” -Nora
Stage III: Conflict Between Expectation and Reality (Shock) Language Barrier: Examples : Nataliya & Nora Cultural Barrier: Examples: Nataliya & Francine Social Aspect: Examples: Nora, Chris, Elena, & Kavri • International Students realize that there is more adjustment than they first anticipated. The language barrier, cultural barrier, and social aspects contribute to their transition.
Stage IV: Integration • In this stage international students begin to integrate new pieces of culture and new ideas into their identity. • New Ideas • New Cultural Aspects • Open-mindedness
Limitations • Does not encompass students from all continents. • Snap shot of the student at a certain point in their development
• Longitudinal Study of International Students • What resources should be implemented to help students with their transition? Future Research
• Evans, N. J., Forney, D. S., Guido, F. M., Patton, L. D., & Renn, K. A. (2010). Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. • Marklein, M. B. (2011, November 14). More foreign students studying in USA. USA Today. Retrieved from http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/ new /education/story/2011-11-13/foreign-students-boost-usa- economy/51188560/1 • Groncholski, E., Sergent, T., Soman, L. & Witherell, S. (2011). International Student Enrollment Increased by 5 Percent in 2010/11, Led by Strong Increase in Students From China. Institute of International Education, . Retrieved from http://www.iie.org/Who-We-Are/News- and- Events/Press-Center/Press-Releases/2011/2011-11-14-Open-Doors- International-Students References
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