Dissertation > Culture, science,education, sports > Cultural Theory > The relationship between culture and other subjects

Intercultural Adaptation Research on International Students

Author LuoShuangZuo
Tutor DengHai
School Southwestern University of Finance and Economics
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords International Students Intercultural Adaptation Description Reflection
Type Master's thesis
Year 2013
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Intercultural communication, as a new emerging discipline, has been developing rapidly in the globalization process. China, along with increasing intercultural communication and skyrocketing numbers of sojourners, however, has not conducted correspondent studies in this field. This thesis takes the students in the College of International Education in Southwestern University of Finance and Economics as an example to provide the synchronic and diachronic descriptions of international students’ adaptation. The research also attempts to examine and explore the intercultural adaptation situation of international students and its relationship with variables through a one-and-half year empirical research. In addition, researcher will testify the application of related theories rooted in west culture context in the local reality. The conduction of the whole research will combine quantitative and qualitative research methods.The analysis of103valid sample of questionnaire and five selected follow-up case studies are the main resources data. The questionnaire adopts the Duran&Kelly’s Communicative Adaptability Scale (CAS) to score the communication adaptability. The higher score implies the better communication adaptability, vice verse. The whole research centers on the four hypotheses to provide the synchronic description on the adaption situation and five follow-up case studies to provide the diachronic description of the adaption process.The synchronic description shows that exchange students from Europe and America rank the top with highest score of communication adaptability scale, then followed by postgraduate students, undergraduate and language students. The U-curve theory which contains four different stages still can be applied into the Chinese context in crisis period and adjustment period. The longer stay in the host country will bring about better communication ability, except some paticular deviation at the initial stage (initial euphuria). While the reason behinds the deviation, in the researcher’s eyes deserves further reflection and exploration. The language affects the international students’adaptation in the host country. Yet, the language proficiency is not totally proportional to the adaptability. The finding of culture distance’s influence on the intercultural adaptation is quite intriguing even against with the hypothesis and need to explore more in further researches. In general, the theories of intercultural communication and research achievements rooted in western culture context are still applicable from macro-perspective. While, owing to the different historical and cultural backgrounds, those theories cannot fully reveal or even fail to explain the intercultural adaptation and communication features of the international students in SWUFE from the micro-perspective. The research even obtains rather opposite views compared with previous studies in western culture context. At the same time, the diachronic description indicates that, compared with the international students’adaptation challenge in developed country, some problems are universal while some are unique, closely related to host country’s social cultural circumstance and the local reality. Most international students in SWUFE appreciate the intercultural experience, while they live like long-term tourists and obtain kinds of personal development in terms of increasing travelling experience and sight-viewing but rather than the deep level of intercultural learning or mutual understanding.According to this research, the author argues that the application of theories and measurements developed in western contexts in the Asian context should be scrutinized carefully and avoid following blindly, ignoring the local reality. The researcher also suggests that it is necessary to improve and regulate the administrative system; promote teaching quality and provide intercultural communication training to teachers and administrators. Meanwhile the improvement of cultural consciousness of the host country is essential to promote the positive intercultural communication and solve or alleviate the intercultural adaptation problems. Those measures and suggestions are also beneficial for the international students’ comprehensive understanding of the host countries and could help establish positive international image of the host country

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