Exploring the cross-cultural adjustment and psychological well-being of Chinese international students studying at a British university
Tiffany Lo Dissertation 2014.pdf (2.422Mb)
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This article presents an in-depth study illustrating how experiences of cross-cultural adjustment appear to Chinese international students studying at a British university. A phenomenological approach was adopted to articulate the students’ lived experiences in terms of their psychological well-being. Six undergraduate students studying at a British university were given a semi-structured interview, which was transcribed and analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Four prominent themes emerged to reflect the experiences of the participants: (1) the desire for freedom; (2) feeling like an outsider; (3) the sense of belonging towards the country of origin; and (4) internal confusion. These findings are relevant to previous literature on cross-cultural studies, which also supported the two conceptualized frameworks of acculturation proposed by Berry (1987), and Ward and Searle (1990). Several factors prior to and during acculturation are considered as possible mediators and moderators on Chinese international students’ adjustment outcomes. This study highlights the importance of social interaction and social support on the students’ psychological well-being. Implications for counselling and student services to invent incentives are discussed, in order to promote the psychological well-being of international students.