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The experience of international students : exploration through drawings and interviews Ishii, Eriko 1997

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The Experience of International Students: Exploration through Drawings and Interviews by ERIKO ISHII B.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f Sacred Heart, 1989  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department  o f C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology)  We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA 1997 September 1997 © Eriko I s h i i ,  1997  In  presenting this  degree at the  thesis  in  partial  fulfilment  University  of  British  Columbia,  of  the  requirements  of  department  this thesis for scholarly or  by  his  or  her  an  permission for extensive  purposes may be granted by the  representatives.  It  is  understood  that  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without permission.  Department of  Cl__P  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date  DE-6 (2/88)  Ac*- °\l  advanced  I agree that the Library shall make it  freely available for reference and study. I further agree that copying  for  head of my copying  or  my written  ii  Abstract The purpose  of t h i s study was  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students' adjustment in-depth interviews.  to e x p l o r e the nature of the processes through drawings and  A q u a l i t a t i v e approach was  the data c o l l e c t i o n and a n a l y s i s .  used to guide  Data were c o l l e c t e d  through  i n - d e p t h s e m i - s t r u c t u r e d i n t e r v i e w s w i t h a v o l u n t e e r sample of f i v e graduate  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students.  The  i n t e r v i e w s aimed to  o b t a i n accounts and drawings that d e s c r i b e t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s of the i n i t i a l p e r i o d i n Canada and p r e s e n t l i v e s as w e l l as wishes  f o r the  Audio  their  future.  taped i n t e r v i e w s were t r a n s c r i b e d verbatim  and  analyzed based on the E m p i r i c a l Phenomenological P s y c h o l o g i c a l (EPP) method proposed by K a r l s s o n (1993).  The a n a l y s i s  v a l i d a t e d f i r s t by a f e l l o w r e s e a r c h e r , and secondly v a l i d a t i o n i n t e r v i e w s with the p a r t i c i p a n t s . r e v e a l e d a number of common and unique  The  was  through  results  themes that were  under the f o l l o w i n g three dynamics: emotional, e x t e r n a l ,  grouped and  behavioural. The r e s u l t s suggest that i n t e r n a t i o n a l students e x p e r i e n c e d v a r i o u s c h a l l e n g e s d u r i n g the i n i t i a l  p e r i o d of b e i n g i n Canada,  and these c h a l l e n g e s r e s u l t e d i n f e e l i n g s such as fear, loneliness, invisibility,  f e e l i n g s o f inadequacy,  and excitement.  nervousness,  feelings of  D e s c r i p t i o n of t h e i r p r e s e n t  lives  i n d i c a t e d t h a t they had a d j u s t e d to and were comfortable w i t h t h e i r new  l i v e s i n Canada.  These themes and each  s t o r y were v i s u a l l y d e p i c t e d i n t h e i r  drawings.  participant's  Ill  The  i m p l i c a t i o n o f these r e s u l t s i s t h a t i n t e r n a t i o n a l  students a r e l i k e l y t o b e n e f i t from c o u n s e l l i n g i n t e r v e n t i o n s p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the beginning o f t h e i r time i n Canada. C o u n s e l l o r s may u t i l i z e drawings f o r advantages r e v e a l e d i n t h i s study; drawings may enable c o u n s e l l o r s to understand  these  s t u d e n t s ' experiences from the p e r s p e c t i v e s of these s t u d e n t s and to t r a n s c e n d c u l t u r a l b a r r i e r s . h i g h l i g h t the importance  Furthermore,  the r e s u l t s  of c o n s i d e r i n g i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t u d e n t s as  i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h s t r e n g t h s , and t r e a t i n g each i n d i v i d u a l ' s experience as unique while being aware o f the common s t r u g g l e s many o f these students f a c e .  F i n a l l y , t h i s study encourages  f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h i n order t o broaden our understanding o f i n t e r n a t i o n a l students' experiences.  iv  TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract  i i  Table o f Contents  iv  Acknowledgements CHAPTER ONE:  vii  INTRODUCTION  Introduction  1  D e f i n i t i o n o f Terms  4  CHAPTER TWO: Theoretical  LITERATURE REVIEW Perspectives  on Adjustment  Experience of International Use  Students  o f A r t as a Communication Tool  Summary  6 14 18 22  CHAPTER THREE:  METHODOLOGY  Research Design  25  P e r s o n a l Assumptions  26  Selection of Participants  ....27  Data C o l l e c t i o n  29  Structure  30  Pilot  o f the Data C o l l e c t i o n Interview  Interviews  33  Drawing M a t e r i a l  34  Researcher's Impressions of the Interviews  34  Data A n a l y s i s  36  Summary  39  CHAPTER FOUR:  RESULTS  S t o r i e s o f Each P a r t i c i p a n t Miguel  40 40  V  Lucy  47  Victoria  55  Jamie  63  Katherine  70  Summary o f Common Themes  75  Table 1. Summary o f Themes  76  Moving In - A n t i c i p a t i o n P e r i o d (A) Emotional Dynamics  .  78  (B) E x t e r n a l Dynamics....  78  (C) B e h a v i o u r a l Dynamics  79  Moving Through - The I n i t i a l P e r i o d (A) Emotional Dynamics  80  (B) E x t e r n a l Dynamics  86  (C) B e h a v i o u r a l Dynamics  89  Moving Out - Present  Life  (A) Emotional Dynamics  91  (B) E x t e r n a l Dynamics  94  (C) B e h a v i o u r a l Dynamics  96  I d e a l Future L i f e R e s u l t s o f Sentence Completion  97 Questionnaire  Summary CHAPTER FIVE:  99 101  DISCUSSION  Introduction I n t e g r a t i n g Current and Previous  103 Research  I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r Adjustment Theory  104  Concerns and F e e l i n g s of I n t e r n a t i o n a l Students  108  vi  Coping S t r a t e g i e s o f I n t e r n a t i o n a l Students  112  Use o f Drawings with I n t e r n a t i o n a l Students  113  P r a c t i c a l I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r H e l p i n g I n t e r n a t i o n a l S t u d e n t s . . . 114 L i m i t a t i o n s and I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r Future Research  117  Conclusion  120  References  122  Appendix A. P a r t i c i p a n t Consent Form  129  Appendix B. Guided Imagery S c r i p t s  130  Appendix C. Sample Questions o f Data C o l l e c t i o n I n t e r v i e w . . . 133 Appendix D. Sentence Completion Q u e s t i o n n a i r e Appendix E. Miguel's Drawings - I n i t i a l  134  and Present L i f e . . . . 136  Appendix F. M i g u e l ' s Drawing - Ideal Future L i f e  137  Appendix G. Lucy's Drawings - I n i t i a l  138  and Present L i f e  Appendix H. Lucy's Drawing - I d e a l Future L i f e Appendix I. V i c t o r i a ' s Drawings - I n i t i a l  139  and Present L i f e . . 140  Appendix J . V i c t o r i a ' s Drawing - Ideal Future L i f e  141  Appendix K. Jamie's Drawings - I n i t i a l  142  and Present L i f e  Appendix L. Jamie's Drawing - I d e a l Future L i f e Appendix M. K a t h e r i n e ' s Drawings - I n i t i a l  143  and Present L i f e . 144  Appendix N . K a t h e r i n e ' s Drawing - I d e a l Future L i f e  145  Appendix 0. Summary of Unique Themes  14 6  Appendix P. Responses on Sentence Completion Q u e s t i o n n a i r e s . 151  Vll  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS My h e a r t f e l t a p p r e c i a t i o n goes to the p a r t i c i p a n t s o f t h i s study who shared t h e i r s t r u g g l e s and hopes with me. t a l k i n g about one's l i f e experience  Drawing and  with a s t r a n g e r i s not an  easy task, y e t these p a r t i c i p a n t s took time and e x p l a i n e d what they went through with a great deal o f p a t i e n c e . honoured t o be the one to r e c e i v e these  I truly  feel  stories.  I would l i k e to express my a p p r e c i a t i o n f o r my s u p e r v i s o r , Dr. Norman Amundson, f o r r e s p e c t i n g my wishes and needs. "student-centred" confidence  s t y l e i n s u p e r v i s i o n helped me b u i l d  His  self-  as a researcher, and h i s t i m e l y advice and i n s i g h t  enabled me to s t a y focused.  I would a l s o l i k e t o acknowledge Dr.  John A l l a n f o r h i s warm support  and v a l u a b l e suggestions,  and Dr.  C a r l Leggo f o r h i s knowledge and e x p e r t i s e . Finally,  I would l i k e to thank my f r i e n d s and f a m i l y who  gave me enough space to work through t h i s p r o j e c t .  I would  p a r t i c u l a r l y l i k e to thank C h r i s t o p h e r Gray who not o n l y p r o v i d e d me w i t h support  and reassurance  page o f my t h e s i s . and  family.  possible.  Thank you,  but a l s o p r o o f r e a d every  single  C h r i s t o p h e r , and a l l o f my f r i e n d s  Without a l l o f you, t h i s would not have been  1  Chapter One Introduction The need f o r r e s e a r c h on i n t e r n a t i o n a l students i s c r i t i c a l g i v e n the f a c t t h a t the number o f such students has d r a m a t i c a l l y i n c r e a s e d d u r i n g the p a s t decade.  The number o f i n t e r n a t i o n a l  students i n Canadian u n i v e r s i t i e s has jumped from 30,472 i n 1985 to 37,478 i n 1992 ( S t a t i s t i c s Canada, 1992). half  In 1992, n e a r l y  (49.8%) o f these students were from A s i a while European  students c o n s t i t u t e d the second ( S t a t i s t i c s Canada, 1992) .  l a r g e s t group o f 16.3%  Because o.f the l a r g e d i s t a n c e between  t h e i r home c u l t u r e s and Canadian c u l t u r e , the non-European students f a c e s u b s t a n t i a l adjustment  challenges  (Heikinheimo &  Shute, 1986) . The p o l i c i e s o f the Canadian government have a f f e c t e d the l i v e s o f these i n t e r n a t i o n a l students.  Since the O n t a r i o  government i n c r e a s e d t u i t i o n fees f o r i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t u d e n t s t o twice the amount p a i d by Canadian students i n 1977, o t h e r p r o v i n c e s have f o l l o w e d t h i s example Subsequently,  the Canadian immigration d e c i d e d to f o r b i d the  employment o f i n t e r n a t i o n a l students Although  (Mickle & Chan, 198 6).  (Mickle & Chan, 1986).  the r e g u l a t i o n has become somewhat more l e n i e n t s i n c e  then and c u r r e n t l y allows i n t e r n a t i o n a l students t o o b t a i n employment on campus, h i g h e r t u i t i o n fees and a l a c k o f employment o p p o r t u n i t i e s continue to be a source o f s t r e s s f o r many i n t e r n a t i o n a l students Education  [CBIE], 1989).  (Canadian Bureau f o r I n t e r n a t i o n a l  Furthermore,  this financial  constraint  2  l e d to a g r e a t e r p r e s s u r e f o r academic success s i n c e many i n t e r n a t i o n a l students r e l i e d on t h e i r f a m i l y f o r f i n a n c i a l support  (Mickle & Chan, 1986) .  There i s an e x p e c t a t i o n and  p r e s s u r e to perform w e l l because of the f i n a n c i a l support  they  r e c e i v e from t h e i r f a m i l y . These government p o l i c i e s may  be a r e f l e c t i o n of a g e n e r a l  m i s c o n c e p t i o n that i n t e r n a t i o n a l students b r i n g no b e n e f i t f o r Canadian  universities,  Chan, 1986).  enrichment  (Mickle &  However, i n t e r n a t i o n a l students add an  component to a Canadian to Canadian  l e t alone f o r a l a r g e r s o c i e t y  society  important  (Mickle & Chan, 1986) .  Benefits  s o c i e t y from i n t e r n a t i o n a l students i n c l u d e of the l e a r n i n g environment  (Heikinheimo  1986), c o n t r i b u t i o n i n e s t a b l i s h i n g a c u l t u r a l ,  & Shute,  economic,  and  d i p l o m a t i c b r i d g e s to t h e i r home c o u n t r i e s (Heikinheimo  & Shute,  1986;  enhancing  M i c k l e & Chan, 1986;, Sims & S t e l c n e r ,  1981), and  understanding and acceptance of people from d i f f e r e n t (Sims & S t e l c n e r ,  1981).  Heikinheimo  and Shute  cultures  (1986) f u r t h e r  suggest that encouraging i n t e r n a t i o n a l students i n Canada can mean r e c i p r o c a l treatment  f o r Canadian  students abroad.  Pedersen  (1991) i n d i c a t e s t h a t the presence of i n t e r n a t i o n a l  students  c o n t r i b u t e s to improved  consequently  world peace, Heikinheimo  i n t e r n a t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s and  because more knowledge leads to more empathy. and Shute  Thus,  (1986) conclude, i t i s important to deepen  understanding of these students' e x p e r i e n c e s . I n t e r n a t i o n a l students are o f t e n c o n f r o n t e d w i t h challenges.  These c h a l l e n g e s concern such areas as  adjustment  academics,  3  communication, f i n a n c e s , i n t e r p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s ,  and  cultural differences  Sometimes  (Pedersen,  1991;  Wehrly, 1988) .  these c h a l l e n g e s t r a n s l a t e i n t o somatic symptoms. Blankenship  Ebbin  and  (1988) r e p o r t e d that i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t u d e n t s - h a d a  h i g h e r frequency of the ten most common concerns  such as a n x i e t y ,  gastritis,  headache, and insomnia when compared w i t h  local  students.  Gunn (1988) suggests that i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t u d e n t s are  prone to s t r e s s f o r reasons i n c l u d i n g r a c i a l  discrimination,  s e p a r a t i o n from f a m i l y and f r i e n d s , language  barriers,  and  d i e t a r y changes. D e s p i t e these c h a l l e n g e s , i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t u d e n t s u t i l i z e h e l p i n g resources a v a i l a b l e to them  (CBIE,  Ogbudimkpa, C r e s w e l l , Lambert, & Kingston, 1988). survey,  rarely  1989; In a  1988  66% of i n t e r n a t i o n a l students i n Canada r e p o r t e d to have  never used the student c o u n s e l l i n g s e r v i c e s d u r i n g the p a s t academic year  (CBIE, 1989).  Furthermore,  t h e r e i s a sense  of  d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n among i n t e r n a t i o n a l students; 70% o f p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the 1988 helpful  survey f e l t  (CBIE,  1989) .  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students c e n t e r s were not Ogbudimkpa et a l (1988) r e p o r t e d t h a t  of i n t e r n a t i o n a l students who  65%  used the s t u d e n t s ' h e a l t h c a r e were  not s a t i s f i e d w i t h the s e r v i c e . Through my  experience as an i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t u d e n t and  working w i t h i n t e r n a t i o n a l students as a c o u n s e l l o r ,  by  I have  become i n c r e a s i n g l y aware of the l a c k of m a t e r i a l s which d e s c r i b e t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s from t h e i r own Pedersen  p o i n t of view.  A c c o r d i n g to  (1991), i n t e r n a t i o n a l students are o f t e n s t e r e o t y p e d as  4  b e i n g d e f e n s e l e s s and bewildered.  In accordance  n o t i o n , the m a j o r i t y of c u r r e n t r e s e a r c h adopts  with  this  a quantitative  approach with l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n to i n d i v i d u a l s t o r i e s and p r o c e s s these i n d i v i d u a l s f o l l o w .  Furthermore,  the  even fewer  s t u d i e s have u t i l i z e d v i s u a l images to enhance our  understanding  o f these students' experiences. T h i s study aims to add e x t e n s i v e d e s c r i p t i o n s and images to the c u r r e n t understanding of i n t e r n a t i o n a l experiences. study a r e :  students'  The r e s e a r c h questions that are addressed  (a) What i s the experience of b e i n g an  student i n Canada? change over time? experiences?  visual  (b) How  i n this  international  does t h e i r experience change or not  (c) Can drawings be an a i d i n c a p t u r i n g t h e i r  The r e s u l t s may  c o n t r i b u t e to a deeper awareness  about the l i v e s of i n t e r n a t i o n a l students i n Canada. the i n f o r m a t i o n may  Moreover,  become one o f the b u i l d i n g b r i c k s t o  e s t a b l i s h more e f f e c t i v e h e l p i n g resources f o r these  students.  D e f i n i t i o n of Terms The  key terms used i n t h i s study are d e f i n e d as f o l l o w s :  I n t e r n a t i o n a l Student  - A non-Canadian student who  does not have  permanent r e s i d e n t s t a t u s , and as such, has had t o r e c e i v e p e r m i s s i o n from the Canadian government to e n t e r Canada f o r purposes  of study  ( S t a t i s t i c s Canada, 1992,  p.  20).  A c c u l t u r a t i o n - The process of adapting to and adopting a culture  ( P a d i l l a , Wagatsuma, & Lindholm,  1984,  p.  296).  new  C u l t u r a l Distance - The degree of d i s s i m i l a r i t y between one's home c u l t u r e and host c u l t u r e  or  similarity  (Ward & Kennedy,  1993b). Acculturative  Stress  - A form of s t r e s s i n which the  stressors  are i d e n t i f i e d as having t h e i r source i n the p r o c e s s of acculturation  (Zheng & Berry, 1991,  p. 453) .  6  Chapter Two Literature Review T h e o r e t i c a l P e r s p e c t i v e s on Adjustment While the adjustment process of i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t u d e n t s been commonly d e s c r i b e d as "U-curve" 1982;  Parr, Bradley,  & B i n g i , 1992;  (Brammer, 1991;  h y p o t h e s i s was  first  phases of i n i t i a l optimism  (Brammer, 1991;  Brammer, 1991) initial  i n t r o d u c e d by Lysgaard  excitement,  Cohlho,  Pedersen, 1991),  c o n s t r u c t has been c r i t i c i z e d f o r v a r i o u s reasons.  depression,  Pedersen, 1991).  the The  and newly a c q u i r e d Hopson  (cited i n  f u r t h e r d i v i d e d these phases i n t o s i x stages  and t r y i n g out new  The U-curve process was c u l t u r e shock by Oberg  U-curve  and c o n s i s t s o f  shock, o s c i l l a t i o n of f e e l i n g s , m i n i m i z a t i o n ,  l e t t i n g go,  has  (Pedersen,  of  depression,  options.  a l s o r e f e r r e d to as a p e r i o d of  1991).  C u l t u r e shock was  (1960), and i s d e f i n e d as "some degree of  first  termed  emotional  d i s t u r b a n c e when an i n d i v i d u a l enters an u n f a m i l i a r c u l t u r a l environment"  (Taft, 1977,  p. 139) .  Oberg  aspects of c u l t u r e shock: a) s t r e s s due  (1966) i d e n t i f i e d s i x  to the e f f o r t to a d j u s t ;  b) a sense o f l o s s and d e p r i v a t i o n ; c) b e i n g r e j e c t e d by  or  r e j e c t i n g host n a t i o n a l s ; d) r o l e and i d e n t i t y c o n f u s i o n ;  e)  s u r p r i s e , a n x i e t y , and d i s g u s t about c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s ; f) f e e l i n g s of impotence.  I f l e f t unattended, these  aspects  l e a d to more s e r i o u s consequences i n c l u d i n g d e p r e s s i o n , c o n f u s i o n , insomnia, symptoms  (Coelho,  impaired self-esteem,  1982;  T a f t , 1977).  and  may  identity  psychosomatic  7  While Oberg c o n t r i b u t e d t o the r e s e a r c h on s o j o u r n e r s by p r o v i d i n g a t h e o r e t i c a l b a s i s and by suggesting i t s s e r i o u s implications,  the c o n s t r u c t o f c u l t u r e shock has been  criticized  f o r c o n f u s i n g the cause and e f f e c t s of the adjustment (Ward & S e a r l e , 1991).  process  S i m i l a r l y , the U-curve h y p o t h e s i s has  been c r i t i c i z e d f o r o v e r g e n e r a l i z i n g the adjustment p r o c e s s  (Ward  & S e a r l e , 1991) . Pedersen  (1991) p o i n t s out that the e m p i r i c a l evidence i s  e q u i v o c a l f o r the U-curve hypothesis and t h a t the h y p o t h e s i s l a c k s c o n s i d e r a t i o n to mediating v a r i a b l e s i n the adjustment process.  The hypothesis was not supported  i n a study o f 165  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students i n New Zealand by Ward and S e a r l e The  l o n g i t u d i n a l study o f Chinese  Berry, 1991) suggests  students i n Canada  (1991).  (Zheng &  an i n v e r t e d U-curve, y e t the authors  c a u t i o n not t o jump to c o n c l u s i o n s c o n s i d e r i n g the s h o r t d u r a t i o n of t h e i r study  ( f i v e months).  p s y c h o l o g i c a l symptoms tended  Lu (1990) found t h a t the t o decrease  over time but  homesickness remained s t a b l e and l a s t i n g among Chinese in Britain, process.  students  suggesting the complex nature o f the adjustment  The support o f the U-curve hypothesis, t h e r e f o r e , i s  inconclusive  (Zheng & Berry,  1991).  A l t e r n a t i v e l y , s e v e r a l r e s e a r c h e r s have proposed models t h a t focus on mediating  f a c t o r s i n the adjustment p r o c e s s .  Schlossberg  (1981) proposes a comprehensive model o f a d a p t a t i o n .  Schlossberg  (1981) suggests  t h a t a d a p t a t i o n to t r a n s i t i o n i s a  dynamic process d u r i n g which an i n d i v i d u a l moves through  various  8  stages w h i l e being a f f e c t e d by a v a r i e t y o f f a c t o r s . i s d e f i n e d as "an event or non-event  Transition  (which) r e s u l t s i n a change  i n assumptions about o n e s e l f and the world and thus r e q u i r e s a corresponding  change i n one's behaviour  (Schlossberg, 1981, p.5). and  and r e l a t i o n s h i p s "  Thus, t r a n s i t i o n can be both  negative  positive. After  an i n d i v i d u a l enters a t r a n s i t i o n , v a r i o u s  factors  a f f e c t h i s / h e r process o f t r y i n g to a d j u s t to a new s i t u a t i o n (Schlossberg, 1981). such v a r i a b l e s :  Schlossberg r e c o g n i z e s t h r e e c a t e g o r i e s of  characteristics of t r a n s i t i o n , c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of  the i n d i v i d u a l , and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of p r e and post environments.  Characteristics  transition  of t r a n s i t i o n i n c l u d e f a c t o r s  such  as the nature o f t r a n s i t i o n , timing, and d u r a t i o n , whereas personality,  gender, and p r e v i o u s t r a n s i t i o n e x p e r i e n c e  the i n d i v i d u a l ' s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s .  Pre and post t r a n s i t i o n  environments a r e examined i n terms o f support and i n s t i t u t i o n a l ) and p h y s i c a l  exemplify  settings  systems  (personal  (e.g. c l i m a t e ,  living  arrangement, food). A c c o r d i n g to Schlossberg  (1981),  a d a p t a t i o n occurs when one  moves from being preoccupied with the t r a n s i t i o n t o i n t e g r a t i n g a change as a p a r t of h i m / h e r s e l f . individual's difference  resources-deficit  The outcome depends on the  balance and the degree o f  between the pre and post t r a n s i t i o n environments  (Schlossberg, 1981).  This e x p l a i n s why the same person  d i f f e r e n t l y t o d i f f e r e n t t r a n s i t i o n s as h i s / h e r balance  changes throughout  his/her  life.  reacts  resources-deficit  9  S c h l o s s b e r g s model takes i n t o account the complex n a t u r e o f 1  the  adjustment p r o c e s s .  Not only does the model o u t l i n e the  d i r e c t i o n which those i n t r a n s i t i o n g e n e r a l l y  follow  , but i t  a l s o helps to e x p l a i n d i f f e r e n t adjustment e x p e r i e n c e s f o r d i f f e r e n t people and f o r the same i n d i v i d u a l . B e r r y and Kim (1988) suggest a model i n which  acculturative  s t r e s s i s moderated by f a c t o r s such as nature o f the h o s t society,  type o f a c c u l t u r a t i o n  (e.g. v o l u n t a r y  versus  involuntary),  demographic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f an i n d i v i d u a l ,  psychological  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of an i n d i v i d u a l , and modes o f  acculturation.  Among these, one's a t t i t u d e towards  i s the most s i g n i f i c a n t p r e d i c t o r of a c c u l t u r a t i v e  acculturation stress  (Ward &  Kennedy, 1994) because i t determines the i n d i v i d u a l ' s mode o f acculturation. B e r r y and Kim (1988) i d e n t i f y four such modes: a s s i m i l a t i o n , separation,  i n t e g r a t i o n , and m a r g i n a l i z a t i o n .  These modes a r e  determined by one's a t t i t u d e s towards maintenance o f h i s / h e r c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y and intergroup seek i n t e r g r o u p  relations.  That i s , those who  r e l a t i o n s but are unconcerned w i t h maintenance of  t h e i r c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y r e s o r t to a s s i m i l a t i o n , w h i l e  separation  o c c u r s when the i n d i v i d u a l r e j e c t s c o n t a c t s w i t h h o s t  nationals  and  holds on t o h i s / h e r  both i n t e r g r o u p  Individuals  who value  c o n t a c t s and c u l t u r a l maintenance a r e c o n s i d e r e d  t o be i n t e g r a t e d , marginalized.  cultural identity.  whereas those who r e j e c t both w i l l become  10  These modes s t r o n g l y stress  (Berry,  marginalization  Kim,  i n f l u e n c e the degree of  Minde, & Mok,  and  separation  1987) .  Individuals  the  least s t r e s s f u l option.  supported by al,  who  experience the g r e a t e s t  w h i l e a s s i m i l a t i o n leads to moderate s t r e s s . be  acculturative  While t h i s h y p o t h e s i s has  1987), Zheng & B e r r y ' s study  a c c u l t u r a t i v e modes were r e l a t e d to s u b j e c t i v e  would been  (Berry  (1991) suggests t h a t  for  stress,  Integration  some c r o s s - c u l t u r a l comparative r e s e a r c h  opt  et  the  a d a p t a t i o n but  not  to s t r e s s . B e r r y and  Kim's model helps to e x p l a i n why  the c u l t u r a l  r e l o c a t i o n can have d i f f e r e n t outcomes f o r d i f f e r e n t i n d i v i d u a l s . I t a l s o h i g h l i g h t s the p o s i t i v e aspect of t r a n s i t i o n . depending on one's a t t i t u d e towards a c c u l t u r a t i o n , be  c o n s i d e r e d as an o p p o r t u n i t y f o r self-growth,  one's l i f e  (Zheng & Berry,  Ward and  Searle  types of adjustment  psychological  (1991) propose a model that c o n s i s t s of (psychological  and  s o c i o c u l t u r a l ) which  adjustment from s t r e s s and  Psychological and  society(Ward & Kennedy, 1992,  to each other but  may  and  cognitive  adjustment concerns an  emotional w e l l - b e i n g  two  namely,  coping framework,  individual's  while s o c i o c u l t u r a l  a d a p t a t i o n r e f e r s t o the a b i l i t y to f i t i n t o the  Psychological  may  thus enhancing  s o c i o c u l t u r a l a d a p t a t i o n from s o c i a l l e a r n i n g and perspectives.  transition  1991).  be best understood from d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e s ; psychological  That i s ,  larger  19.93a, 1993b).  adjustment and  sociocultural adaptation relate  d i f f e r e n t v a r i a b l e s p r e d i c t each o f them.  11  S t u d i e s have demonstrated that p s y c h o l o g i c a l adjustment i s mediated by such f a c t o r s as p e r s o n a l i t y , support  life  changes, and s o c i a l  (Ward & Kennedy, 1993a) whereas s o c i o c u l t u r a l  i s a f f e c t e d by c u l t u r a l knowledge, c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y Searle,  1991) , language a b i l i t y ,  host c u l t u r e  adaptation (Ward &  and l e n g t h o f r e s i d e n c e i n the  (Ward & Kennedy, 1991).  T h i s model c o n t r i b u t e d to d i s t i n g u i s h two types o f adjustment  and t o i d e n t i f y d i f f e r e n t v a r i a b l e s t h a t a f f e c t them.  For example, Ward and Kennedy (1994) found t h a t a s t r o n g c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y was a s s o c i a t e d with enhanced p s y c h o l o g i c a l w e l l - b e i n g w h i l e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with host n a t i o n a l s was l i n k e d t o s o c i o c u l t u r a l competence i n New Zealand s o j o u r n e r s . Other  r e s e a r c h e r s have i d e n t i f i e d o t h e r moderating  factors.  Among them, communication has emerged as one o f the key f a c t o r s i n one's adjustment  process.  Westwood and Barker  (1990) r e p o r t e d  t h a t c o n t a c t w i t h host n a t i o n a l s was a s s o c i a t e d w i t h academic success and lower p r o b a b i l i t y o f dropping out o f academic programmes f o r i n t e r n a t i o n a l students i n Canada. R o h r l i c h and M a r t i n  Similarly,  (1991) found t h a t i n c r e a s e d i n t e r a c t i o n with  h o s t n a t i o n a l s was c o r r e l a t e d with heightened i n t e r n a t i o n a l students i n Western Europe.  s a t i s f a c t i o n among  Kagan and Cohen (1990)  demonstrated t h a t i n t e r n a t i o n a l s students who s c o r e d h i g h on the a c c u l t u r a t i o n s c a l e tended to speak E n g l i s h a t home and have American f r i e n d s , while those who were lower on an a c c u l t u r a t i o n s c a l e showed a tendency  to speak t h e i r n a t i v e language a t home  and spend most o f t h e i r time with t h e i r c o - n a t i o n a l s .  B e r r y and  12  Kim  (1988) r e p o r t e d that the g r e a t e r c o n t a c t w i t h host n a t i o n a l s  was  c o r r e l a t e d with l e s s s t r e s s i n M a l a y s i a n students i n Canada.  As  such, the l i n k between i n c r e a s e d c o n t a c t w i t h host n a t i o n a l s  and p s y c h o l o g i c a l w e l l - b e i n g has been demonstrated i n other studies  (e.g. Chataway & Berry, 1989;  Deressa  & Beavers,  While  1988;  Heikinheimo  & Shute,  1986;  M i c k l e & Chan, 1986).  these s t u d i e s suggest the p o s i t i v e i n f l u e n c e of host-  s o j o u r n e r c o n t a c t , some s t u d i e s i n d i c a t e t h a t i n some cases i t may  be harmful  f o r one's emotional w e l l - b e i n g .  Ward and Kennedy  (1992) found t h a t p s y c h o l o g i c a l d i s t r e s s was  p r e d i c t e d by  frequent c o n t a c t with host n a t i o n a l s f o r New  Zealanders  Singapore.  A s i m i l a r r e s u l t was  students i n Singapore  living in  found i n a study o f M a l a y s i a n  (Ward & Kennedy, 1994).  Thus, the  link  between h o s t - s o j o u r n e r c o n t a c t and p s y c h o l o g i c a l w e l l - b e i n g not be as l i n e a r as has been suggested,  but may  may  be moderated by  f a c t o r s such as r e c e p t i v i t y of the host c u l t u r e and the degree of c u l t u r a l d i s t a n c e between one's home and host c o u n t r i e s (Ward & Kennedy, 1992,  1993b; Ward & S e a r l e , 1991;  P a d i l l a , Wagatsuma, and Lindholm esteem may  Pedersen,  (1984) suggest  1991). that s e l f -  be the major p r e d i c t o r of a c c u l t u r a t i v e s t r e s s .  t h e i r study o f f i r s t ,  second,  In  and t h i r d - g e n e r a t i o n Japanese-  American students, those of f i r s t - g e n e r a t i o n r e p o r t e d the h i g h e s t s t r e s s , and scored s i g n i f i c a n t l y lower than the o t h e r two on the s e l f - e s t e e m measure.  The second-generation  other hand, i n d i c a t e d h i g h e r s t r e s s and s c o r e d  groups  group, on the  significantly  lower on s e l f - e s t e e m than the t h i r d g e n e r a t i o n group.  From t h i s  13  result,  P a d i l l a et a l (1984) propose t h a t f i r s t - g e n e r a t i o n  immigrants may  be most prone to s t r e s s because of s i g n i f i c a n t  c u l t u r a l gaps they face i n terms of s o c i a l norms, r o l e e x p e c t a t i o n s , and language, themselves  and may  i n an unfavourable  be most l i k e l y to see  light.  P r e v i o u s i n t e r r a c i a l or t r a n s i t i o n a l experience has been r e l a t e d to enhanced adjustment B e r r y , et a l , 1987).  (Rohrlich & Martin,  R o h r l i c h and M a r t i n  1992;  (1992) found t h a t  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students with p r i o r t r a n s i t i o n a l r e p o r t e d a g r e a t e r ease with adjustment,  also  experience  w h i l e those w i t h  no  p r e v i o u s experience i n d i c a t e d s i g n i f i c a n t l y g r e a t e r d i f f i c u l t y i n d e a l i n g w i t h t r a n s i t i o n a l tasks such as u s i n g u n f a m i l i a r currency and t r a v e l l i n g .  Those without p r e v i o u s t r a n s i t i o n  a l s o r e p o r t e d d i f f i c u l t y w i t h making f r i e n d s . overviewed  experience  B e r r y et a l (1987)  r e s e a r c h on a c c u l t u r a t i v e s t r e s s done i n Canada  between 1969  and 1985,  and suggested  e x p e r i e n c e s p l a y an important  that p r i o r  intercultural  r o l e i n one's a c c u l t u r a t i v e  process. Adan and F e l n e r (1995), on the other hand, argue t h a t the f i t between one's previous experience and the p r e s e n t i s more important  than the amount of p r e v i o u s e x p e r i e n c e .  and F e l n e r found that a g r e a t e r amount of p r i o r experience was  situation  a s s o c i a t e d with heightened  Adan  interracial  adjustment  for African-  American students a t t e n d i n g a p r i m a r i l y White u n i v e r s i t y , whereas lower  l e v e l s of such experience was  adjustment  f o r African-Americans  c o r r e l a t e d with b e t t e r  at a p r i m a r i l y B l a c k u n i v e r s i t y .  14  Thus, Adan and  Felner  o p p o r t u n i t i e s may  be  (1995) concluded that f a m i l i a r i t y the c r i t i c a l determinants of  and  adjustment.  Locus of c o n t r o l has been demonstrated to a f f e c t the c u l t u r a l adjustment process. of c o n t r o l was  Lu  (1990) found t h a t i n t e r n a l l o c u s  c o r r e l a t e d with l e s s p e r c e i v e d  demands i n Chinese students i n B r i t a i n . control revealed  academic and  External  g r e a t e r mood disturbance  locus  (Ward and  l e v e l of depression  social  of  Kennedy,  1992,  1993b) and h i g h e r  1992)  than those w i t h an i n t e r n a l locus of c o n t r o l i n  Zealanders r e s i d i n g i n Singapore.  cross-  (Ward and  Kennedy, New  S i m i l a r l y , P a d i l l a et a l  (1988) demonstrated t h a t f i r s t - g e n e r a t i o n Japanese-American students tended to be more s t r e s s e d out than l a t e r groups, and generation  generation  to show an e x t e r n a l locus of c o n t r o l w h i l e  later  groups i n d i c a t e d a tendency f o r i n t e r n a l l o c u s  of  control. Experience of I n t e r n a t i o n a l Students While i n t e r n a t i o n a l students o f t e n share the same o b s t a c l e s , such as academic pressure u n i v e r s i t y students, l e a r n i n g to adapt and c u l t u r a l context Lu,  1990;  and  f i n a n c i a l stress with  they a l s o face a unique c h a l l e n g e function competitively  Perdersen, 1991;  unfamiliar  Westwood & Barker, 1990). i d e n t i f i e d three  t h a t i n t e r n a t i o n a l students face: a)  i s s u e s common to u n i v e r s i t y students challenges  i n an  of  (Kaczmarek, Matlock, Merta, Ames, & Ross,  ( c i t e d i n Kaczmarek et a l , 1994) challenges  local  r e l a t e d to being  1994/  Leong  categories  of  developmental  (e.g. autonomy),  b)  away from home (e.g. homesickness),  15  and c) c h a l l e n g e s unique  t o b e i n g an i n t e r n a t i o n a l student (e.g.  immigration). Parr e t a l (1992) r e p o r t e d t h a t the areas o f the g r e a t e s t concern  f o r i n t e r n a t i o n a l students were extended  f a m i l y (not  h a v i n g enough c o n t a c t w i t h them, worry about t h e i r w e l l - b e i n g ) , f i n a n c e s , and s c h o o l .  Finances were r a t e d as p r o b l e m a t i c by 51%  of i n t e r n a t i o n a l students i n a 1988 survey i n Canada 1989).  Heikinheimo  and Shute  (1986) i d e n t i f i e d  language,  academic p r e s s u r e , c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e , and r a c i a l as p r i n c i p a l concerns Deressa and Beavers  (CBIE,  discrimination  f o r i n t e r n a t i o n a l students i n Canada.  (1988) found t h a t the two most common i s s u e s  f o r i n t e r n a t i o n a l students were f i n a n c e s and language.  In  Canada, 21% o f i n t e r n a t i o n a l students r e p o r t e d t o have a l a n g u a g e - r e l a t e d problems.(CBIE, 1989).  These s t u d i e s i n d i c a t e  t h a t i n t e r n a t i o n a l students are c o n f r o n t e d with the d u a l task of h a n d l i n g the c h a l l e n g e s o f u n i v e r s i t y l i f e and o f doing so i n a f o r e i g n c u l t u r e without a p r e v i o u s support network. I n t e r n a t i o n a l students o f t e n experience homesickness (Cadieux Lu  & Wehrly, 1986; Ishiyama,  1989; Lu, 1990; Wehrly, 1988) .  (1990) r e p o r t e d t h a t 94.9% o f Chinese  experienced homesickness i n h i s study.  students i n B r i t a i n Since there was no  d i f f e r e n c e found between the more homesick and the l e s s homesick i n p e r s o n a l i t y and p e r c e i v e d demands or symptoms, Lu (1990) concluded t h a t homesickness stemmed from the environmental of b e i n g away from home and was d i f f e r e n t from a mental which was a f f e c t e d by p e r s o n a l i t y  factors.  demand  illness  16  Because of s e p a r a t i o n  from family,  f r i e n d s , and  a familiar  environment, i n t e r n a t i o n a l students o f t e n become l o n e l y & Wehrly, 1988; survey on o f the 55%  Hsu,  Hailey,  & Range, 1987;  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students  (Cadieux  Wehrly, 1988).  (CBIE, 1989)  A  reported that  students i n d i c a t e d l o n e l i n e s s as t h e i r major problem while  answered making f r i e n d s as a major c h a l l e n g e f o r them.  et a l  66%  Hsu  (1987) demonstrated that Chinese students i n America were  more s o c i a l l y l o n e l y and  alienated  than Chinese s t u d e n t s i n  China, w h i l e more Chinese students i n China r e p o r t e d emotional loneliness  than Chinese students i n America.  Emotional  loneliness  r e s u l t s from a l a c k of c l o s e emotional  relationships,  whereas s o c i a l l o n e l i n e s s i s the e f f e c t of absence of a s o c i a l network  (Hsu  et a l , 1987).  This r e s u l t suggests t h a t  f o r i n t e r n a t i o n a l students may interpersonal  stem from a l o s s and  many i n t e r n a t i o n a l students  Pedersen, 1991).  Pedersen  support system and  Ishiyama & Westwood,  i d e n t i t y has  out  that  1992; a l o s s of a  a tremendous i m p l i c a t i o n  s e l f - e s t e e m are dependent on  since  to l o s s of p r e v i o u s i d e n t i t y and  a n x i e t y , f e e l i n g s of d i s o r i e n t a t i o n ,  (Pedersen, 1991)  Wehrly, 1986).  and  Chataway and  Berry  role  f e e l i n g s of being  f e e l i n g s of w o r t h l e s s n e s s  an  his/her  are v a l i d a t e d by s i g n i f i c a n t o t h e r s .  Common r e a c t i o n s  lost  i d e n t i t y poses a c h a l l e n g e f o r  (1991) p o i n t s  i n d i v i d u a l ' s s e l f - i m a g e and  include  of  (Alexander, K l e i n , Workneh, & M i l l e r ,  Cadieux & Wehrly, 1986;  i d e n t i t y and  lack  contacts.  Loss of a p r e v i o u s r o l e and  1981;  loneliness  (Cadieux &  (1989) r e p o r t e d h i g h a n x i e t y  17  i n Chinese students i n an E n g l i s h u n i v e r s i t y .  Cadieux  and Wehrly  (1986) warn t h a t a l o s s o f s t a t u s and i d e n t i t y may l e a d t o a crisis  i f these students cannot  system. loss,  T o f f o l i and A l l a n  grief,  f i n d a new ongoing  support  (1992) emphasize t h a t d e a l i n g w i t h  and readjustment  i s a major task f o r a l l ESL  students. The  task o f d e a l i n g with l o s s and academic c h a l l e n g e s i n an  u n f a m i l i a r environment  o f t e n r e s u l t s i n d e p r e s s i o n f o r many  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students  (Cadieux & Wehrly, 1986).  Pedersen  (1991)  suggests t h a t d e p r e s s i o n i s the most p r e v a l e n t among i n t e r n a t i o n a l students and has more s e r i o u s i m p l i c a t i o n s l o n e l i n e s s and Researchers  than  homesickness. o f f e r e x p l a n a t i o n s f o r d e p r e s s i o n among  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students.  Wehrly (1988) suggests t h a t the p r e s s u r e  to succeed i s i n t e n s e f o r i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t u d e n t s .  They t r y t o be  c o m p e t i t i v e w h i l e f a c i n g other c h a l l e n g e s such as i s o l a t i o n , f i n a n c i a l p r e s s u r e , and language  limitations  (Wehrly,  1988).  Some academic t a s k s such as o r a l p r e s e n t a t i o n s and c l a s s d i s c u s s i o n s may be completely f o r e i g n f o r many i n t e r n a t i o n a l students, and the c o m p e t i t i v e nature o f s c h o o l may b e w i l d e r them if  they come from more community-oriented  Wehrly, 1986).  Wehrly  societies  (Cadieux &  (1988) concludes t h a t i t i s understandable  f o r these students t o f e e l depressed, h e l p l e s s , and angry. While  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students face unique c h a l l e n g e s and are  prone to experience a great d e a l o f s t r e s s  (Smith, 1985),  s t u d i e s r e p o r t e d r e s u l t s that c o n t r a d i c t t h i s n o t i o n .  several  Leong,  18  M a l l i n k r o d t , and K r a l j  (1990) demonstrated  that A s i a n  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students experienced fewer s t r e s s f u l l i f e than d i d Caucasian students i n the U. S.  events  Parr et a l (1992) found  t h a t i n t e r n a t i o n a l students tended to be more  determined,  t h a n k f u l , and happy r a t h e r than l o n e l y , sad, and d i s c o u r a g e d . Kaczmarek et a l (1994) r e p o r t e d that no s i g n i f i c a n t  difference  was found between i n t e r n a t i o n a l students and U.S. s t u d e n t s on s c a l e s o f academic and personal/emotional adjustment,  while  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students r e p o r t e d s i g n i f i c a n t l y more d i f f i c u l t i e s on s o c i a l adjustment  and i n s t i t u t i o n a l attachment  In t h i s regard, Pedersen overemphasizing students. group,  scales.  (1991) c a u t i o n s a g a i n s t  and o v e r g e n e r a l i z i n g pathology i n i n t e r n a t i o n a l  Because i n t e r n a t i o n a l students are a  heterogeneous  i t i s e s s e n t i a l t o be a t t e n t i v e t o i n d i v i d u a l cases w h i l e  b e i n g aware o f unique c h a l l e n g e s they f a c e .  I t . i s also  important  to r e c o g n i z e s t r e n g t h s many i n t e r n a t i o n a l students p o s s e s s as an a b i l i t y to persevere and a d e t e r m i n a t i o n t o pursue goals  (Wehrly,  such  their  1988).  Use o f A r t as a Communication Tool Despite v a r i o u s c h a l l e n g e s , i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t u d e n t s u s u a l l y do not express t h e i r concerns 1986;  Westwood & Ishiyama,  (Toffoli & Allan,  1990).  1992; Wehrly,  Westwood and Ishiyama  (1990)  suggest t h a t s o j o u r n e r s o f t e n have d e f i c i e n c i e s i n language and s o c i a l competencies, clearly.  and are not able to express  T o f f o l i and A l l a n  themselves  (1992) suggest that ESL s t u d e n t s  19  often  cannot name what i s b o t h e r i n g them, or they are  reluctant  to f o c u s on i t . The c u l t u r a l b a r r i e r may  stand between a s o j o u r n e r and a  l i s t e n e r from two d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r e s Golub, that  (Toffoli & Allan,  1989; Westwood & Borgen, 1988).  the p r i m a r y i s s u e  Vogel  (1986) r e p o r t e d  f o r wives o f i n t e r n a t i o n a l  s t u d e n t s was  misunderstandings i n c r o s s - c u l t u r a l communication language l i m i t a t i o n and c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s . indicated  t h a t breakdowns i n c r o s s - c u l t u r a l  1992;  which stem from  Vogel  (1986)  communication  often  o c c u r r e d as a r e s u l t of d i f f e r e n t v a l u e s i n communication and assumptions about i n t e r p e r s o n a l suggests t h a t revealing  relationships.  (1988)  against  one's emotions are the major c h a l l e n g e s i n c r o s s Westwood and Borgen  (1988) argue  assumptions i n such f a c t o r s as r o l e s , goals, and relationships difference  that  Wehrly  language b a r r i e r s and c u l t u r a l c o n s t r a i n t  cultural counselling.  conflict"  styles  may  d i f f e r from c u l t u r e  to c u l t u r e ,  that  role and t h i s  can become "a f e r t i l e ground f o r m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g and (p. 120).  the s u b j e c t i v e  individuals  Westwood and Borgen culture,  (1988) f u r t h e r  asserts  a f i l t e r through which an  sees the world, i s r e s i s t a n t to change and tends to  remain unconscious. Research has i n d i c a t e d a communication  bridge.  the advantages of u s i n g v i s u a l a r t as  McNiff (1981) suggests v i s u a l a r t can  p r o v i d e "a focus o f s h a r i n g "  (p. x i i i ) .  Having the artwork i n  f r o n t o f them, an i n d i v i d u a l may  find i t easier  themselves by d e s c r i b i n g  drawings.  his/her  t o t a l k about  It also provides a  20  v i s u a l c l u e f o r a l i s t e n e r to develop understanding and i n t o the person's s u b j e c t i v e experience Wadeson, 1980).  Amundson  case c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n . v i s u a l a r t was and  researcher  (Hampden-Turner,  (1988) proposes the use o f drawings f o r Pinholster  (1983) demonstrated  Moody (1995) r e p o r t e d  to communicate p e r s o n a l through p a i n t i n g s and  and  that N a t i v e  and  and A l l a n  drawings.  transcending  c u l t u r a l b a r r i e r s " (p. 225).  awareness of the students'  Roijen,  1991).  communication  the most v a l u a b l e  expressed  Rhyne (1978) c l a i m s  an i n d i v i d u a l c r e a t e s v i s u a l messages that r e f l e c t Dalley  students  experiences.  as i t i s a symbolic speech through which messages are  reality.  Toffoli  to g a i n deeper  V i s u a l a r t can become a supplement to v e r b a l  personal  the  f o r understanding,  (1992) suggest that t h e i r programme f o r ESL  (Dalley, 1984;  with  Moody (1995)  which i n c l u d e s drawing e x e r c i s e enables teachers  i n images  how  Americans  c u l t u r a l values  concludes that v i s u a l a r t "opened the way sharing,  1981;  used as a s h a r i n g p o i n t f o r non-verbal c h i l d r e n  a counsellor.  found a way  insights  that  his/her  (1984) maintains that a r t can become  s u b s t i t u t e when speech i s impaired  or  underdeveloped. Henley impaired  (1987) documented the use of v i s u a l a r t w i t h  children.  Lomeo-Smith (1979) found that u s i n g  hearingart  h e l p e d circumvent language b a r r i e r s between the r e s e a r c h e r Hispanic  families.  the r e s e a r c h e r  Roijen  (1991) r e p o r t e d  that drawings enabled  to communicate with a P a k i s t a n  i n t e r p r e t e r , and  and  f a m i l y without  t h i s process enhanced t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p .  an  21  K e l l y , K e l l e y , and Moore  (1978) demonstrated  the use of a r t as a  means of communication and s e l f - e x p r e s s i o n f o r a u t i s t i c  children  and young a d u l t s . Henley  (1987) claims that drawing h e l p s to l o o s e n defenses  o f d e n i a l and r e p r e s s i o n .  T h i s was  h e a r i n g - i m p a i r e d c h i l d r e n who f e e l i n g s about  e v e n t u a l l y began to express  family, f r i e n d s , and themselves by drawing  t a l k i n g about t h e i r drawings. Pinholster  i l l u s t r a t e d by h i s study of their and  Using a case study method,  (1983) i l l u s t r a t e d the process i n which a nonverbal  c h i l d g r a d u a l l y l e t go of h i s defenses and shared h i s classroom experience.  Riley  a d o l e s c e n t s who  (1978) used a r t to e s t a b l i s h a l l i a n c e with  showed r e s i s t a n c e i n therapy.  V i s u a l a r t can p r o v i d e a s a f e haven where s o j o u r n e r s can express t h e i r f e e l i n g s .  McNiff  v a l u a b l e t o o l f o r those who threatening.  (1980) suggest t h a t a r t can be a  f i n d d i r e c t v e r b a l e x p r e s s i o n too  Thrasher, Yee,  and Zahnstecher  t h a t drawings helped immigrants  (1989)  from West I n d i a to express  e x p l o r e such i s s u e s as g r i e f , a sense of l o s s ,  and  The process of b e i n g engaged i n artwork might i n d i v i d u a l to reach deeper  demonstrated  feelings.  Dalley  and  anger. enable an  (1984) suggests that  one's -thought and f e e l i n g s reach e x p r e s s i o n i n images r a t h e r than words because Allan  they are d e r i v e d from the u n c o n s c i o u s .  (1988) suggests that emotions  Similarly,  and thoughts t h a t were not  r e v e a l e d i n words o f t e n emerge i n the p a i n t i n g e x e r c i s e . (1978) demonstrated  Haegar  that v i s u a l a r t f a c i l i t a t e d an e m o t i o n a l l y  22  t r o u b l e d woman t o reach her f e a r s and p a i n about her r e l a t i o n s h i p s with  family.  While the use o f a r t has s e v e r a l advantages f o r understanding an i n d i v i d u a l ' s s u b j e c t i v e experiences, some setbacks. activity  Amundson (1988) i n d i c a t e s that the drawing  may e l i c i t  insecurity,  negative  r e a c t i o n s f o r reasons such as  l a c k o f drawing a b i l i t y ,  A l l a n and T o f f o l i  and i n a b i l i t y t o v i s u a l i z e .  (1989) suggests that a drawing e x e r c i s e may be  u n f a m i l i a r f o r many ESL students. discomfort,  i t a l s o has  Thus, to ease the p o s s i b l e  i t i s important to remind i n d i v i d u a l s t h a t  their  drawings w i l l not be judged f o r a r t i s t i c q u a l i t y and t h a t the purpose o f the drawing e x e r c i s e i s not to produce a work o f a r t (Allan & T o f f o l i ,  1989).  Summary Although the U-curve hypothesis and the concept o f c u l t u r e shock c o n t r i b u t e d t o b u i l d a b a s i s f o r adjustment r e s e a r c h , the current  research  Schlossberg  has turned  to a focus on m e d i a t i n g f a c t o r s .  (1981) proposed that i n the a d a p t a t i o n  process,  an  i n d i v i d u a l moves towards i n t e g r a t i n g t r a n s i t i o n a l e x p e r i e n c e i n t o his/her  life.  Three c a t e g o r i e s of moderating v a r i a b l e s a r e  i d e n t i f i e d by S c h l o s s b e r g :  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of t r a n s i t i o n ,  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the i n d i v i d u a l , and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f p r e and p o s t - t r a n s i t i o n environment. Kim  and B e r r y  (1989) i d e n t i f i e d the i n d i v i d u a l ' s a t t i t u d e s  toward a c c u l t u r a t i o n as a key f a c t o r to determine modes o f acculturation  ( a s s i m i l a t i o n , separation,  m a r g i n a l i z a t i o n , and  23  integration).  While i n t e g r a t i o n was  i n d i c a t e d to be  e f f e c t i v e a c c u l t u r a t i v e mode, f u r t h e r research verify this  the most  i s needed to  notion.  Ward and psychological  Searle and  (1991) i d e n t i f i e d two  sociocultural.  to an emotional w e l l - b e i n g  Psychological  adjustment r e f e r s  whereas s o c i o c u l t u r a l a d a p t a t i o n i s an  a b i l i t y to f i t i n t o a l a r g e r s o c i e t y . adjustment are  types of adjustment:  These two  a f f e c t e d by d i f f e r e n t v a r i a b l e s ,  types and may  understood by d i f f e r e n t t h e o r e t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e s , psychological  adjustment from a s t r e s s and  of be  best  that i s ,  coping framework  s o c i o c u l t u r a l a d a p t a t i o n from a s o c i a l l e a r n i n g and  and  cognitive  perspective. Current r e s e a r c h  has  i d e n t i f i e d other m e d i a t i n g f a c t o r s such  as c o n t a c t s with host n a t i o n a l s , c u l t u r a l distance,  personality  r e c e p t i v i t y of the host (e.g. self-esteem, l o c u s  culture, of  c o n t r o l ) , p r i o r t r a n s i t i o n a l or c r o s s - c u l t u r a l experience, and f i t between pre The  current  and p o s t - t r a n s i t i o n environment. research  i n d i c a t e s that i n t e r n a t i o n a l students  are prone to l o n e l i n e s s and l o s s of p r e v i o u s r o l e and issues  as t h e i r family,  differences.  On  depression.  They may  i d e n t i t y and may  finances,  and  be  s u f f e r from a  concerned w i t h such  language, and  Although these c h a l l e n g e s may  anxious, h e l p l e s s , feelings.  cultural  l e a d them to  the other hand, there i s some r e s e a r c h  students.  feel  depressed, they r a r e l y t a l k about t h e i r  i n d i c a t e s i n t e r n a t i o n a l students are no more s t r e s s e d university  a  that than  local  24  The  communicative advantages of v i s u a l a r t has been  demonstrated w i t h a wide v a r i e t y of p o p u l a t i o n s .  V i s u a l a r t can  p r o v i d e a f o c a l p o i n t of d i s c u s s i o n , be used as a communication aid  when one's language i s l i m i t e d , h e l p l o o s e n an  defence,  and p r o v i d e a safe haven to the  individual's  individual.  While v i s u a l a r t has been used w i d e l y as a communication tool,  v e r y few s t u d i e s i n c o r p o r a t e d the v i s u a l image t o d e p i c t  e x p e r i e n c e s o f i n t e r n a t i o n a l students.  C u r r e n t r e s e a r c h on  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students has mostly u t i l i z e d q u a n t i t a t i v e methods, and as a r e s u l t , very l i t t l e  first-hand d e s c r i p t i o n of  experiences i s a v a i l a b l e . T h i s study aims to expand our understanding o f of  experiences  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students, through a v i s u a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n and  u s i n g a q u a l i t a t i v e method to encourage them t o t e l l stories.  their  own  by  25  Chapter three Methodology Research  Design  The p r i m a r y focus of t h i s study was drawing, how  to e x p l o r e ,  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students whose f i r s t  through  language i s not  E n g l i s h e x p e r i e n c e d the process of a d j u s t i n g to a new  culture.  I t aimed to shed l i g h t on the meaning of e x p e r i e n c e s students went through when they l e f t t h e i r own r e l o c a t e d t o a new s t u d e n t " was who  situation.  country  For t h i s study, an  d e f i n e d as someone e n r o l l e d i n a l o c a l  A q u a l i t a t i v e design was  a p p r o p r i a t e t o understand t h e i r own  and  "international  came from o u t s i d e of Canada i n order to pursue  education.  those  university further  s e l e c t e d as the most  the experiences of those s t u d e n t s  from  frames of r e f e r e n c e .  Q u a l i t a t i v e r e s e a r c h attempts as l i v e d by the p a r t i c i p a n t s Sandelowski,  1986)  to understand  (MacMillan & Schumacher,  and to d e s c r i b e the meaning of such  ( B a n i s t e r , Burman, Parker, T a y l o r , & T i n d a l l ,  1994).  on the n a t u r a l i s t i c - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l assumption "multilayered"  (MacMillan & Schumacher, 1989,  " u l t i m a t e l y s u b j e c t i v e " (Sandelowski,  p. 373)  and  1989; experience I t i s based  that r e a l i t y i s  Davis, & H a r r i s ,  77), and t h a t human experience i s meaningful to those who  the phenomenon  as i t i s 1989,  p.  comprehensible  l i v e d i t without e x t e r n a l t h e o r i z i n g o r e x p l a n a t i o n  (Dukes, 1984).  I t has the focus o f attempting t o shed l i g h t  on  themes and p r o c e s s e s and to gain a deeper u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the experience  ( M a r s h a l l & Rossman, 1994).  26  The r e s e a r c h questions of t h i s study were:  (a) what i s the  experience of i n t e r n a t i o n a l students s t u d y i n g i n a Canadian u n i v e r s i t y whose n a t i v e language i s not E n g l i s h ? (b) How  does  t h e i r experience change or not change over time? and  Can  (c)  drawings h e l p capture the experiences of i n t e r n a t i o n a l who  students  study at a u n i v e r s i t y i n Canada?  P e r s o n a l Assumptions In q u a l i t a t i v e r e s e a r c h , because a r e s e a r c h e r ' s t a s k i s to r e v e a l "the l i v e d meaning" of experience f o r the ( G i o r g i , 1983,  individual  p. 18), the r e s e a r c h e r becomes immersed i n the  i n v e s t i g a t i o n process by f o r m u l a t i n g r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n s ,  actively  i n t e r a c t i n g w i t h c o - r e s e a r c h e r s , and making d e c i s i o n s r e g a r d i n g data c o l l e c t i o n and a n a l y s i s Osbourne, 1990;  Sandelowski  (MacMillan & Schumacher, et a l , 1989).  Consequently,  r e s e a r c h e r ' s v a l u e s and preconceptions would have an i n f l u e n c e on how therefore,  the study i s conducted  important  It i s ,  f o r a q u a l i t a t i v e r e s e a r c h e r to r e c o g n i z e  (Osbourne, 1990,  f i n a l report (Colaizzi,  1978;  self-  p. 81) and a r t i c u l a t e them i n the Osbourne, 1990)  By doing so,  r e s e a r c h e r becomes aware of these preconceptions so as t o to minimize  the  unavoidable  and i t s outcome.  one's p r e d i s p o s i t i o n s through a process of " r i g o u r o u s reflection"  1989;  t h e i r i n f l u e n c e ( G u g l i e t t i - K e l l y & Westcott,  the  attempt 1990).  I t a l s o enables those r e a d i n g the r e p o r t to c o n s i d e r the framework of the r e s e a r c h e r from which the study was and r e s u l t s analyzed  (Osbourne, 1990).  conducted  27  I have i d e n t i f i e d s e v e r a l assumptions  t h a t may  have  r e l e v a n c e to t h i s study c o n s i d e r i n g the f a c t t h a t I am i n t e r n a t i o n a l student myself and have worked w i t h ESL a counsellor. influence.  My background i n a r t may  an students as  a l s o have had some  I have i d e n t i f i e d the f o l l o w i n g  assumptions:  (a)  People are experts of t h e i r own  lives.  (b)  There i s a need f o r r e s o u r c e s . s p e c i f i c a l l y aimed t o h e l p  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students. (c)  Most i n t e r n a t i o n a l students go through an  adjustment  process. (d)  Drawing may  give a c o u n s e l l o r t o o l s to  understand  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students' experiences i n a symbolic f a s h i o n . (e)  Drawing has the p o t e n t i a l of s e r v i n g as a b r i d g e between a  c o u n s e l l o r and a c l i e n t (f)  f o r mutual understanding.  The experience of moving i n t o a f o r e i g n c u l t u r e where one's  p r e v i o u s way  of coping and way  of viewing the w o r l d may  not be  r e l e v a n t i s s t r e s s f u l f o r most people. (g)  S h a r i n g experiences with o t h e r s h e l p s most people  s t r e s s and view t h e i r own  relieve  experiences from a new p e r s p e c t i v e .  S e l e c t i o n of P a r t i c i p a n t s P u r p o s e f u l sampling was sampling  employed i n t h i s study.  i s to use i n f o r m a t i o n r i c h cases i n o r d e r to maximize  the u t i l i t y of i n f o r m a t i o n y i e l d e d from a s m a l l sample & Schumacher, 1989). conducted  Purposeful  (MacMillan  Based on t h i s sampling s t r a t e g y , I  i n t e r v i e w s and f i v e p a r t i c i p a n t s p r o v i d e d a reasonable  28  amount of i n f o r m a t i o n .  A l l the p a r t i c i p a n t s were r e c r u i t e d by  the f o l l o w i n g procedure: 1.  First,  p o t e n t i a l p a r t i c i p a n t s were approached,  a f t e r which I  e x p l a i n e d the purpose of the study, the number and d u r a t i o n of i n t e r v i e w s i n v o l v e d , the procedure, and c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y anonymity i s s u e s . to  and  As B a n i s t e r et a l (1994) emphasized, i n order  e s t a b l i s h r a p p o r t with p a r t i c i p a n t s ,  i t i s important i n a  q u a l i t a t i v e study that p a r t i c i p a n t s be informed of the procedure, number and d u r a t i o n of i n t e r v i e w s , and how  purpose, the  m a t e r i a l w i l l be d e a l t with at the completion of the study ( B a n i s t e r et a l , 1994; MacMillan & Schumacher, 2.  1989).  The p o t e n t i a l p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h i s study were a s s u r e d that  t h e i r c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y would be s t r i c t l y p r o t e c t e d i n t h a t names or any other i n f o r m a t i o n that might  reveal their  would be e l i m i n a t e d i n the f i n a l r e p o r t .  I t was  also  their  identity emphasized  t h a t they c o u l d r e f u s e to answer any q u e s t i o n or withdraw from the study a t any time.  By doing so, the r e s e a r c h e r l e t s  p a r t i c i p a n t s know that they are i n charge of how to  disclose  ( B a n i s t e r et a l , 1994).  the  much they  The p o t e n t i a l  choose  participants  were, then, asked to contact the r e s e a r c h e r , s h o u l d they wish to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the study. 3.  Once the p a r t i c i p a n t s agreed to p a r t i c i p a t e ,  date and time were arranged.  The consent form  o b t a i n e d a t the beginning of the f i r s t copy of the s i g n e d form was  the i n t e r v i e w  (Appendix A)  was  i n t e r v i e w a f t e r which a  given to the p a r t i c i p a n t .  29  All  the p a r t i c i p a n t s f u l f i l l e d the f o l l o w i n g c r i t e r i a :  E n g l i s h was  not t h e i r n a t i v e language,  r e g u l a r u n i v e r s i t y courses, read i n E n g l i s h , participation,  (a)  (b) they were e n r o l l e d i n  (c) they were able to communicate  and  (d) they p r o v i d e d informed consent f o r  and  (e) they were w i l l i n g to t a l k and draw about  t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s as i n t e r n a t i o n a l students.  A l l of the  p a r t i c i p a n t s r e s i d e d i n Vancouver at the time of the i n t e r v i e w , and were graduate students at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Four of them were female and one was male.  Columbia.  Four were m a r r i e d ,  two of whom l i v e d w i t h t h e i r spouses while the o t h e r two had t h e i r spouses  i n t h e i r home c o u n t r i e s .  As f o r e t h n i c i t y , one was Mexican, Chinese. Data  Two  left  had young c h i l d r e n .  one A f r i c a n ,  and t h r e e were  T h e i r age ranged between 25 to 36.  Collection The study i n v o l v e d one p r e l i m i n a r y meeting,  one  in-depth  s e m i - s t r u c t u r e d i n t e r v i e w , and one v a l i d a t i o n i n t e r v i e w . the p r e l i m i n a r y meeting,  I i n t r o d u c e d myself as a graduate  student i n the Department of C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology, of B r i t i s h Columbia,  freedom  University  and e x p l a i n e d to p o t e n t i a l p a r t i c i p a n t s  i s s u e s as the r a t i o n a l e and purpose of the study, requirements  During  for participation,  confidentiality,  such  the and  their  to withdraw or r e f u s e any q u e s t i o n at any time o f the  interview. The f i r s t interview. working  i n t e r v i e w was  a semi-structured data  collection  As M a r s h a l l and Rossman (1994) suggest, a good  r e l a t i o n s h i p between the r e s e a r c h e r and p a r t i c i p a n t s i s  30  e s s e n t i a l f o r i n t e r v i e w s t o be f r u i t f u l . semi-structured respected general  format was used d u r i n g which the r e s e a r c h e r  how the p a r t i c i p a n t s framed t h e i r responses while the  s t r u c t u r e was s t a n d a r d i z e d  The  For t h i s reason, a  across d i f f e r e n t p a r t i c i p a n t s .  second i n t e r v i e w was t o ensure t h a t the r e s e a r c h e r ' s  understanding of the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' s t o r i e s was a c c u r a t e .  The  second i n t e r v i e w was c a r r i e d out over the telephone except f o r one  p a r t i c i p a n t who p r e f e r r e d t o meet the r e s e a r c h e r  i n person.  S t r u c t u r e o f the Data C o l l e c t i o n Interview The  l e n g t h of the data c o l l e c t i o n i n t e r v i e w was two hours.  Four o f these were conducted a t a r e s e a r c h  room i n the Department  o f C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h  Columbia.  One i n t e r v i e w was c a r r i e d out at the p a r t i c i p a n t ' s r e s i d e n c e as she p r e f e r r e d t o be home f o r her young c h i l d . The  i n t e r v i e w c o n s i s t e d of three s e c t i o n s : a d i s c u s s i o n of  the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' i n i t i a l t h e i r current l i f e ,  experiences  i n Canada, a review of  and a d i s c u s s i o n of t h e i r i d e a l f u t u r e  life.  Each s e c t i o n i n c l u d e s a drawing e x e r c i s e where the p a r t i c i p a n t s were asked t o draw a p i c t u r e t h a t represented of the i n i t i a l p e r i o d , c u r r e n t l i f e All  three s e c t i o n s repeated  their  experiences  and i d e a l f u t u r e  life.  the same procedure.  Each  s e c t i o n s t a r t e d with a r e l a x a t i o n e x e r c i s e and guided imagery. Three d i f f e r e n t s c r i p t s o f guided imagery were developed f o r t h i s study  (Appendix B) based on the group guidance model f o r ESL  students  o u t l i n e d by A l l a n and T o f f o l i  (1989).  31  The  guided imagery i s u s e f u l to a l l e v i a t e  a n x i e t y and to focus on the task at hand  participants'  (Cormier  & Hackney,  1993), and to help them get i n touch with l o s t memory and emotions  (Allan & T o f f o l i ,  1989) .  I t a l s o aimed to encourage the  p a r t i c i p a n t s to v i s u a l i z e t h e i r experiences  f o r the f o l l o w i n g  drawing t a s k . F o l l o w i n g guided imagery, the p a r t i c i p a n t s were asked draw a p i c t u r e that symbolized suggests  t h e i r experiences.  u s i n g a r t i n a s e m i - s t r u c t u r e d s e s s i o n to  s p e c i f i c data.  (1980).  elicit  Wadeson f u r t h e r claims t h a t u s i n g such a method  y i e l d s an i n t e r e s t i n g d i s c o v e r y about how c e r t a i n phenomenon.  people  Amundson (1988) suggests  experience  u s i n g a metaphor  p r o v i d e s "a springboard f o r developing i n s i g h t s " R0ijen  Wadeson  to  (p.  391).  (1991) documented the use of drawings as a means of  communication between the researcher and p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the study of immigrant  families.  P a r t i c i p a n t s were encouraged to d e s c r i b e t h e i r and drawings i n as much d e t a i l as p o s s i b l e .  experiences  When most  p a r t i c i p a n t s i n d i c a t e d that they d i d not know how  to begin, I  reminded them that t h e i r drawings would not be judged  for  a r t i s t i c q u a l i t y and t h a t I would r e l y on them to d e s c r i b e t h e i r drawings r a t h e r than a n a l y z i n g t h e i r drawings. emphasized the f a c t t h a t there was any  Furthermore, I  no wrong or r i g h t answer and  i n f o r m a t i o n they p r o v i d e d would be a p p r e c i a t e d as v a l u a b l e  and meaningful.  I a l s o suggested  t h a t they c o u l d e i t h e r draw  32  first  and d e s c r i b e l a t e r o r draw as they t a l k e d .  A l l chose the  latter. Using open-ended questions and r e f l e c t i o n ,  I f a c i l i t a t e d the  p a r t i c i p a n t s ' e x p r e s s i o n of t h e i r thoughts and f e e l i n g s , and d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e i r behaviours.  This i s c a l l e d a new paradigm  i n t e r v i e w mode by B a n i s t e r e t a l (1994) where p a r t i c i p a n t s ' s t o r i e s are t r e a t e d as v a l u a b l e and meaningful, and the i n t e r v i e w i s c o n s i d e r e d a c o l l a b o r a t i v e process o f a r e s e a r c h e r and participants.  Furthermore, as I f a c i l i t a t e d the p a r t i c i p a n t s '  story-telling,  I t r i e d to view t h e i r experiences from  their  frames o f r e f e r e n c e and to understand as i f I were the participant.  A sample o f questions (Appendix C) was used to  ensure c e r t a i n areas were covered, while f o r the most p a r t the emphasis At  was on f l e x i b i l i t y and open e x p r e s s i o n . the end o f the second s e c t i o n , p a r t i c i p a n t s were asked to  compare t h e i r f i r s t first  and second drawings which r e p r e s e n t e d t h e i r  p e r i o d i n Canada and t h e i r present l i f e .  They were asked  to  d e s c r i b e f a c t o r s o r events that may have c o n t r i b u t e d t o change  or  no change between these r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s . S i m i l a r l y , p a r t i c i p a n t s were asked to make a comparison  between the second and t h i r d drawings, and t o e x p l o r e t h e ways i n which they c o u l d a c t u a l i z e t h e i r i d e a l f u t u r e  life.  The i n t e r v i e w f i n i s h e d with a sentence completion questionnaire and T o f f o l i  (Appendix D).  This method i s suggested by A l l a n  (1989) as a follow-up a c t i v i t y i n the group  model f o r ESL s t u d e n t s .  guidance  Ruiz (1984) a l s o recommends the use o f  33  the  sentence completion method with a c r o s s - c u l t u r a l p o p u l a t i o n  s i n c e the method enables i n d i v i d u a l s to r e v e a l not p e r s o n a l i t i e s but  w i t h an o p p o r t u n i t y  questionnaire,  was  to p r o v i d e  The  participants  to give feedback on the drawing e x e r c i s e i n  I left and  questionnaire  their  a l s o c l u e s r e l a t e d to s p e c i f i c c o n c e r n s .  purpose of u s i n g t h i s q u e s t i o n n a i r e  another format.  only  the room while p a r t i c i p a n t s f i l l e d  explained  to them that I would not  i n the  read  the  u n t i l the completion of the a n a l y s i s i n order  to i n f l u e n c e the a n a l y s i s of the i n t e r v i e w s . were a l s o f i l l e d  i n anonymously i n order  The  not  questionnaires  to encourage honest  feedback. Pilot  Interviews Three p i l o t  collection.  i n t e r v i e w s were conducted p r i o r t o data  T h i s p r o c e s s was  o f the i n t e r v i e w  format and  i n t e r v i e w procedure and my  designed to v e r i f y the  suitability  to f a m i l i a r i z e myself w i t h r o l e as a r e s e a r c h e r .  the  Breakwell  (1995) emphasized the importance o f p i l o t study i n q u a l i t a t i v e r e s e a r c h by p o i n t i n g out interviews  can  the f a c t that l o o s e l y s t r u c t u r e d  e a s i l y l o s e s i g h t of the main i s s u e s without  adequate p i l o t i n g . All  the p a r t i c i p a n t s f o r the p i l o t study were female spouses  of i n t e r n a t i o n a l students. Second Language faced may  (ESL)  class.  They were e n r o l l e d i n an E n g l i s h f o r While the i s s u e s these p a r t i c i p a n t s  have been d i f f e r e n t from those who  u n i v e r s i t y courses, opportunity  the p i l o t study p r o v i d e d  to determine i f the wording and  e n r o l l e d i n regular me  with  an  i n s t r u c t i o n s were  34  c l e a r t o the p o t e n t i a l p a r t i c i p a n t s , to p r a c t i s e a l l o c a t i n g  an  a p p r o p r i a t e amount of time to each s e c t i o n of the i n t e r v i e w , and to  r e f l e c t on the ways i n which I conducted A f t e r having reviewed  the i n t e r v i e w s .  the i n t e r v i e w tapes, I met  p a r t i c i p a n t s i n person f o r feedback  sessions.  a l l the  Appropriate  changes were made to the wording of i n s t r u c t i o n s and  guided  imagery based on the recommendations by the p a r t i c i p a n t s . Drawing M a t e r i a l 11 i n c h by 15 i n c h drawing paper was T h i s s i z e was  used i n the i n t e r v i e w .  s e l e c t e d based on the feedback  p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the e a r l i e r p i l o t study. as i t d i d not overwhelm them nor was  from those  I t was  who  deemed s u i t a b l e  i t too s m a l l f o r them to  draw t h e i r l i f e experiences. 36 c o l o u r e d p e n c i l s along with 24 crayons and 24 markers were p r e s e n t e d at the i n t e r v i e w .  Crayons and markers were p l a c e d  i n a basket while p e n c i l s were l i n e d up i n a s e l f - s t a n d i n g The p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the p i l o t  study p r o v i d e d feedback  box.  t h a t the  number of c o l o u r s and types of medium were a p p r o p r i a t e s i n c e they had adequate choice over c o l o u r s and what medium t o use. Researcher's  Impressions  Conducting p r o v i d e d me  of the  Interviews  in-depth i n t e r v i e w s w i t h i n t e r n a t i o n a l  w i t h challenges as w e l l as a f u l f i l l i n g  An  i n t e r n a t i o n a l student myself,  if  I was  students  experience.  I o f t e n f e l t the i n t e r v i e w s as  r e v i s i t i n g f a m i l i a r memories.  I was  s u r p r i s e d at the  degree t o which the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' s t o r i e s were, s i m i l a r to my e x p e r i e n c e s . My major task, thus, was  to have my  own  preconceptions  35  under check i n order to hear what the p a r t i c i p a n t s were  telling  me r a t h e r than l e a p i n g to c o n c l u s i o n s from my own e x p e r i e n c e s . While the f a c t that I was an i n t e r n a t i o n a l student h e l p ease the t e n s i o n of the p a r t i c i p a n t s ,  seemed to  i t a l s o clouded the  boundary between a researcher, a c o u n s e l l o r , and a f e l l o w student.  T h i s may have been stemmed by a sense o f s h a r i n g the  same s t r u g g l e s as other i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t u d e n t s .  One p a r t i c i p a n t  stated: And t h a t r e a l l y helps, you know, when you f i n d t h a t you are not the only one with problems, and communication problems. And you s t a r t doing t h i n g s w i t h them, l i k e f o r example, we p l a y v o l l e y b a l l together, we p l a y s o c c e r together, we do s e v e r a l t h i n g s t o g e t h e r . And t h e r e ' s something, there's something t h e r e i n common, t h a t a l l o f us have the same problem, communication.  Consequently, experience.  s e v e r a l p a r t i c i p a n t s asked me t o share my I approached t h i s challenge by g e n t l y reminding  t h a t the i n t e r v i e w time was f o r them to t e l l a l s o t r i e d t o convey my understanding experiences.  I t was important  their stories.  f o r me to f i n d a b a l a n c e  drawing task posed another  I  and a p p r e c i a t i o n o f t h e i r  the r o l e s o f a researcher and an understanding The  them  challenge.  between  ally. Most p a r t i c i p a n t s  communicated t o me that they d i d not know how t o s t a r t .  Yet,  a f t e r a g e n t l e encouragement, they seemed t o be immersed i n the p r o c e s s o f drawing and d e s c r i b i n g t h e i r  experiences.  I was s t r u c k by the v i v i d n e s s o f some p a r t i c i p a n t s ' memories.  One p a r t i c i p a n t d e s c r i b e d the scenery he saw w h i l e  36  being  l o s t i n the b u i l d i n g on h i s f i r s t  detail. while may  in striking  Another d e s c r i b e d i n d e t a i l what her room l o o k e d  c r y i n g i n her room on the day  be  day of s c h o o l  an i n d i c a t i o n of how  participants, were to t e l l  and  l e f t me  these  like  she a r r i v e d i n Canada.  This  p a i n f u l these memories were to those  wondering how  few o p p o r t u n i t i e s  there  stories.  Data A n a l y s i s The  i n t e r v i e w data was  collection.  analyzed  concurrently with  Audio-tapes of the i n t e r v i e w s were reviewed,  t r a n s c r i b e d verbatim  f o l l o w i n g each i n t e r v i e w .  completion of t r a n s c r i b i n g , each tape was the accuracy  the  of the t r a n s c r i p t s .  Following  data and the  reviewed a g a i n to check  I, then, proceeded to  analyze  the t r a n s c r i b e d data based on the f o l l o w i n g steps o u t l i n e d i n E m p i r i c a l Phenomenological P s y c h o l o g i c a l  (EPP)  method  (Karlsson,  1993): 1)  The  grasp" 2)  researcher (p. 96)  The  reads the p r o t o c o l u n t i l g a i n i n g a "good  to proceed on to the next  researcher  step.  d i v i d e s the i n t e r v i e w p r o t o c o l i n t o s m a l l  u n i t s where the r e s e a r c h e r p e r c e i v e s a s h i f t i n meaning. u n i t s are c a l l e d meaning u n i t s  (MUs).  Breaking  i n t o s m a l l e r u n i t s i s a " p r a c t i c a l a i d " (p. 96) manageable. from one  K a r l s s o n emphasizes t h a t MUs  another but  down the  text  to keep the  are not  are " d i s c e r n i b l e p a r t s "  These  data  independent  (p. 97)  o f the whole  text. 3) MU,  The  researcher  t r a c e s out the p s y c h o l o g i c a l meaning of each  thus, moving from the p a r t i c u l a r f a c t to the meaning i t had  37  for  the p a r t i c i p a n t .  I t i s i n t h i s step t h a t the p a r t i c i p a n t ' s  language i s transformed t h a t each MU  i n t o the r e s e a r c h e r ' s .  be understood  Karlsson  suggests  i n l i g h t of the whole c o n t e x t .  Also,  e v e r y d a y - l i f e language i s p r e f e r a b l e to t h e o r y - l a d e n or too generic 4)  language.  The  r e s e a r c h e r rearranges the MUs  them i n t o a " s i t u a t e d s t r u c t u r e "  (p. 106).  i l l u m i n a t e s what the phenomenon i s . group the MUs In  i n order to s y n t h e s i z e  The  A situated structure  r e s e a r c h e r ' s task i s to  i n a psychologically significant  way.  t h i s step, I a l s o i n c o r p o r a t e d dimensions  used by G u g l i e t t i - K e l l y and Westcott  (1991) .  the f o l l o w i n g dimensions  of  experience  Guglietti-Kelly  Westcott  adopted  shyness:  experience of the s i t u a t i o n , experience o f the  and  i n t h e i r study of self,  experience o f a c t i v i t y , and experience o f aftermath. The how  f i r s t dimension,  experience o f the s i t u a t i o n ,  indicates  an i n d i v i d u a l experiences the e x t e r n a l s i t u a t i o n w h i l e the  second dimension  h i g h l i g h t s the i n t e r n a l experience t h a t occurs  w h i l e the person was dimension  may  be e x e m p l i f i e d by a statement  seemed enormous to me statement  i n that p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n .  on my  first  such as "The  building  f i r s t day of s c h o o l " , whereas a  such as " I f e l t r e a l l y s t u p i d when I spoke up i n the  c l a s s " would be an example of the second The t h i r d dimension,  dimension.  experience of a c t i v i t y ,  what the person d i d i n t h a t p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n . dimension,  The  experience of aftermath,  illustrates And  i n c l u d e s statements  i n d i c a t e the e f f e c t s of the experience.  the f o u r t h that  38  A f t e r d i v i d i n g a l l the MUs f u r t h e r grouped MUs w i t h a theme. me  i n t o these four c a t e g o r i e s , I  that have commonalties and named each c l u s t e r  A l l the themes were put i n t o a t a b l e which enabled  to g a i n a c l e a r sense of the experience I,  then, proceeded to w r i t e a summary f o r each s e c t i o n of  the i n t e r v i e w .  Since an i n t e r v i e w c o n s i s t s of t h r e e  ( i n i t i a l p e r i o d i n Canada, present i n t e r v i e w r e s u l t e d i n three 5)  The  general  f i n a l step was  sections  l i f e , ideal future l i f e ) ,  each  summaries.  to "move from s i t u a t e d s t r u c t u r e to  s t r u c t u r e " (p. 108).  of the same experience  In t h i s step, d i f f e r e n t  protocols  were compared to d e l i n e a t e commonalties as  w e l l as i n d i v i d u a l v a r i a t i o n s . raw  as a whole.  K a r l s s o n suggests to go back to  data i n t h i s step so as not to overlook  relevant  i n an attempt to move on to a more a b s t r a c t l e v e l  constituents  of  understanding. V a l i d a t i o n of a n a l y s i s was  done i n two  time of d i v i d i n g the t e x t i n t o MUs,  and  steps;  first  at  the  l a t e r a f t e r the  completion of w r i t i n g i n t e r v i e w summaries.  For the  validation,  of the Department of  I met  with a d o c t o r a l candidate  first  C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology i n U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia. of the t e x t was afterwards. and my  d i v i d e d c o n c u r r e n t l y by him  When there was  division,  and  a disagreement between h i s  each of us explained the r e a s o n i n g  particular division. additional text.  and me,  A part  compared division  behind t h a t  Then, we proceeded t o d i v i d e some  This process  reached approximately n i n e t y  was  repeated  percent.  u n t i l the agreement  39  For the second v a l i d a t i o n , m a i l e d to each p a r t i c i p a n t ,  the i n t e r v i e w summaries were  and t h e i r accuracy was checked i n  v a l i d a t i o n i n t e r v i e w s . A l l the v a l i d a t i o n i n t e r v i e w s were c a r r i e d out over the telephone except f o r one p a r t i c i p a n t p r e f e r r e d to meet the r e s e a r c h e r i n person.  who  Two p a r t i c i p a n t s  added a couple of sentences to c l a r i f y the t e x t , w h i l e the r e s t added no c o r r e c t i o n . Summary Q u a l i t a t i v e methodology was used to guide t h i s study.  The  data was c o l l e c t e d through a drawing e x e r c i s e and i n - d e p t h interviews.  Three p i l o t i n t e r v i e w s were conducted p r i o r t o data  c o l l e c t i o n interviews.  F i v e i n t e r n a t i o n a l students whose n a t i v e  language was not E n g l i s h p a r t i c i p a t e d i n t h i s study on c o n d i t i o n t h a t they p r o v i d e d a consent form, and were able and w i l l i n g t o draw and t a l k about t h e i r experience i n Canada.  Transcribed  i n t e r v i e w data was analyzed a c c o r d i n g t o the EPP method (Karlsson, 1993) and the thematic c a t e g o r i e s used i n G u g l i e t t i K e l l y and Westcott's study  (1990).  T h i s r e s u l t e d i n the  p a r t i c i p a n t s ' accounts o f t h e i r experiences and a number of common and unique themes.  40  Chapter  Four  Results T h i s chapter p r e s e n t s the s t o r i e s of the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' experiences as i n t e r n a t i o n a l students.  T h i s i s f o l l o w e d by a  summary of common themes which emerged from the a n a l y s i s and a summary of responses  on the  qualitative  sentence-completion  q u e s t i o n n a i r e s which the p a r t i c i p a n t s f i l l e d i n at the end of their interviews. S t o r i e s of Each P a r t i c i p a n t In  order t o gain a b e t t e r understanding  p a r t i c i p a n t ' s unique below.  of each  experience, t h e i r s t o r i e s are p r e s e n t e d  Each p a r t i c i p a n t ' s s t o r y c o n s i s t s o f t h r e e phases of  their l i f e  i n Canada: the i n i t i a l p e r i o d , p r e s e n t l i f e ,  future ideal l i f e .  A l l the names i n these s t o r i e s  pseudonyms, and while excerpts are quoted r e p e t i t i v e s t u t t e r s and incomprehensible  from the  and  are transcripts,  u t t e r a n c e s are omitted  from the e x c e r p t s . Miguel Miguel i s a 30-year o l d graduate  student from Mexico.  came to Canada with h i s wife a f t e r being accepted i n t o a programme.  He  graduate  They were l i v i n g i n Vancouver at the time of the  i n t e r v i e w , and had no c h i l d r e n . approximately  The i n t e r v i e w took p l a c e  s i x months a f t e r h i s a r r i v a l i n Canada.  (A) I n i t i a l P e r i o d Miguel's  life  i n Canada began i n a n x i e t y and i s o l a t i o n .  f i r s t day of school w e l l epitomizes h i s experience of the  The  initial  41  p e r i o d , and t h i s was r e f l e c t e d i n h i s drawing where he drew a l a r g e s c h o o l b u i l d i n g with dark clouds  (Appendix E ) .  Miguel  e x p l a i n e d t h a t he f e l t overwhelmed and nervous a t the s i g h t of h i s department b u i l d i n g because i t looked enormous to him. The Miguel  s i t u a t i o n became worse upon e n t e r i n g the b u i l d i n g ;  q u i c k l y got l o s t and c o u l d not f i n d the r i g h t room d e s p i t e  the f a c t t h a t he had the room number.  In h i s p a n i c , Miguel  kept  on walking  along the same c o r r i d o r hoping t h a t he would soon f i n d  the room.  Inside, a n x i e t y and a sense of i s o l a t i o n grew, but he  d i d not want to ask others because o f h i s E n g l i s h .  He d i d not  know how t o say room numbers c o r r e c t l y i n E n g l i s h , and i t seemed too i n t i m i d a t i n g to speak to others  i n English.  Miguel  described  t h i s s i t u a t i o n as f o l l o w s : I f e l t , I f e l t l o s t because I d i d n ' t know how t o ex ( s i c ) , ask where the room was, where the room was o r something l i k e that. I remember l a s t , twelve fourteen, the, the number of the room. Yeah, I remember, but I d i d n ' t know how t o ask. For example, i f I c o u l d say, "I'm l o o k i n g f o r a room twelve f o u r t e e n " or "one thousand two hundred and f o u r t e e n . "  Although he e v e n t u a l l y found the room, h i s sense of s o l i t u d e was never r e l i e v e d . as he waited classroom  On the c o n t r a r y , he came to f e e l more  alone  f o r f o r t y - f i v e minutes s i t t i n g i n the empty  by h i m s e l f .  When the l e c t u r e s t a r t e d , he c o u l d not  understand the i n s t r u c t o r ' s E n g l i s h , nor d i d he t a l k to o t h e r students.  Everyone e l s e knew each other,  and he watched them  chat w i t h one another from the l a s t row of the room where he sat alone.  When i t was h i s t u r n to i n t r o d u c e h i m s e l f , Miguel  just  42  s a i d h i s name and remained s i l e n t f o r the r e s t o f the c l a s s . whole day was d i f f i c u l t and  The  c h a r a c t e r i z e d by f e e l i n g s o f i s o l a t i o n  nervousness: Yeah, I was j u s t nervous about e v e r y t h i n g , yeah. Basically the communication was major problem, you know. And I saw the other guys, f o r example, the other classmates were t a l k i n g t o each other and I was j u s t look, how do you say t h a t , j u s t s t a r t , eh, watching them t a l k i n g . They knew each other b e f o r e , because I s t a r t i n January, they s t a r t e d i n September. They knew each other and I d i d n ' t know them. Then, I d i d n ' t say anything to them and they d i d n ' t say anything to me. And I j u s t l e f t the room.  The did  f e e l i n g o f i s o l a t i o n p e r s i s t e d f o r a few months.  not know anything about the h e l p i n g r e s o u r c e s a v a i l a b l e t o  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students on campus, and everyday him. go,  Miguel  was d i f f i c u l t f o r  Often, Miguel d i d not want t o go to s c h o o l , and when he d i d f e e l i n g s o f shame and f e a r b l o c k e d him from  others.  S e v e r a l attempts  failures,  approaching  to t a l k to others were p e r c e i v e d as  as he c o u l d not keep the c o n v e r s a t i o n f l o w i n g o r make  h i m s e l f understood.  Other  students t r i e d t o encourage him by  a s k i n g him to repeat or to rephrase, but h i s sense o f shame was so i n t e n s e t h a t he became completely withdrawn. However, the experience s t a r t e d to take another succeeded time.  t u r n when he  i n c a r r y i n g a c o n v e r s a t i o n with Canadians f o r the f i r s t  Miguel t a l k e d with h i s Canadian classmates  f o r an hour,  and with t h i s as a s t a r t i n g p o i n t , he began t o f e e l i n c l u d e d and c a r e d f o r by o t h e r s .  S h o r t l y a f t e r , a f r i e n d s h i p began t o  develop between Miguel and a Canadian student, Nancy.  While  43  communication was  i n i t i a l l y a major c h a l l e n g e f o r them, t h e i r  f r i e n d s h i p grew based on a mutual a p p r e c i a t i o n and r e s p e c t f o r each o t h e r ' s s k i l l s .  Being able to help Nancy w i t h h i s  e x p e r t i s e , he s t a r t e d seeing h i m s e l f i n a d i f f e r e n t worthy person.  light,  as a  For Miguel, Nancy p l a y e d a major r o l e i n b r i n g i n g  a p o s i t i v e change i n h i s l i f e . Because of these f r i e n d s h i p s with Canadians,  Miguel's  c o n f i d e n c e rose and he s t a r t e d f e e l i n g at ease s p e a k i n g E n g l i s h . While he r e c o g n i z e d the importance  of t a l k i n g to n a t i v e E n g l i s h  speakers t o improve one's language  a b i l i t y , i t had been  f o r him t o overcome the mental b a r r i e r to do I t was  so.  a l s o h e l p f u l f o r him to l i v e i n a m u l t i c u l t u r a l  neighbourhood his  difficult  where many were from o u t s i d e Canada; i t h e l p e d  f e e l i n g s o f i s o l a t i o n and shame.  Miguel f e l t  t h a t he  the same c h a l l e n g e with h i s neighbours, and t h i s f e e l i n g him t o r e a l i z e t h a t h i s i n i t i a l r e a c t i o n was  ease  shared enabled  normal t o a  t r a n s i t i o n process. Having gone through the i n i t i a l p e r i o d , M i g u e l  now  r e c o g n i z e s a l t e r n a t i v e s , such as c o u n s e l l i n g , t h a t would have been h e l p f u l . about most.  However, he r e a l i z e s that he had no means t o know  these s e r v i c e s i n the beginning when they were needed the M i g u e l a l s o b e l i e v e s that an o r i e n t a t i o n programme  specifically  f o r i n t e r n a t i o n a l students i s needed t o h e l p them  cope w i t h the c h a l l e n g e s he had gone through.  Furthermore,  he  t h i n k s s e r v i c e s f o r i n t e r n a t i o n a l students are g e n e r a l l y l a c k i n g on campus, and i n t e r n a t i o n a l students remain uninformed  of the  44  s e r v i c e s a v a i l a b l e to them. Miguel a l s o suggests t h a t departments h o l d an o r i e n t a t i o n programme every semester  instead of only i n  the b e g i n n i n g o f the academic year so that those s t a r t i n g i n the second term would not f e e l l e f t out. The p a s t s i x months have been an i n c r e d i b l e l e a r n i n g p e r i o d for  Miguel.  He has l e a r n t many l i f e  l e s s o n s , but most n o t a b l y ,  he has l e a r n t to l i v e with people o f d i f f e r e n t backgrounds.  cultural  He now r e c o g n i z e s r a c i a l d i s c r i m i n a t i o n i n h i s  homeland and f e e l s a sense o f wonder that he enjoys l i v i n g people from so many d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r e s .  with  However, w h i l e i t i s  e x c i t i n g to see the extent o f h i s p e r s o n a l growth, M i g u e l r e c o g n i z e s he s t i l l  has f u t u r e tasks, such as to overcome  c u l t u r a l b a r r i e r s between him and h i s Canadian  f r i e n d s such as  Nancy. (B) Present  Life  As shown i n h i s drawing,* M i g u e l s c u r r e n t l i f e 1  i n t o two p a r t s : f a m i l y and school (Appendix  E).  i s divided  His family l i f e  i s o n l y p o s i t i v e ; M i g u e l i s very happy because he i s a b l e t o spend a good d e a l o f time with h i s wife f o r the f i r s t they got m a r r i e d . We are here. always dinner It  M i g u e l expressed h i s happiness  time s i n c e  as f o l l o w s :  j u s t happy, r e a l l y happy. We are e n j o y i n g our time We, yeah, l i k e we are doing l o t o f e x e r c i s e and we have b r e a k f a s t and lunch most o f time, l u n c h and together.  i s also t h e i r f i r s t  with r e l a t i v e s ,  time to l i v e i n a house without s h a r i n g i t  and t h i s a l s o c o n t r i b u t e s t o h i s h a p p i n e s s .  45  Miguel  f e e l s h i s l i f e s t y l e s h i f t e d s i n c e having  and now  his l i f e  i s r e l a x e d and happy.  Miguel  come to Canada, i s v e r y happy w i t h  h i s wife and hoping f o r a baby. In c o n t r a s t , school l i f e him  as i t provides  enough to f u l f i l l frustrated  few  turned out to be d i s a p p o i n t i n g f o r  challenges.  the course  A few hours of study  requirements,  and d i s a p p o i n t e d .  Miguel  a day i s  and t h i s l e a v e s  him  described h i s perspective  as  follows: I'm not c e r t a i n about my s t u d i e s . I t ' s j u s t l i k e why, what I'm doing now, l i k e I'm doing r e s e a r c h now but I'm not c e r t a i n about the g o a l o f my research, and I hate t h a t , you know. I t ' s l i k e l o o k i n g f o r something t h a t you don't know.  Furthermore, h i s a d v i s o r does not seem to understand h i s feelings.  There i s a communication d i f f i c u l t y between him  his advisor.  While Miguel  and  f e e l s he c o u l d make h i m s e l f b e t t e r  understood i f he t r i e d harder,  he p e r c e i v e s the a d v i s o r to be  impatient: My a d v i s o r , you know, he t a l k s r e a l l y f a s t and sometimes I had problem to understand him. And he's not p a t i e n t .  His f e e l i n g s  of f r u s t r a t i o n are mainly due  to the  fact  that  he i s not sure of the purpose of the course he i s c u r r e n t l y taking.  Miguel  the a d v i s o r but Miguel's  needs more advice,  stimulus,  and guidance from  f e e l s the a d v i s o r knows very l i t t l e  area of i n t e r e s t .  Judging  about  from the amount o f  s u p e r v i s i o n he r e c e i v e s , he wonders i f he i s expected to work on  46  his  own because he i s a graduate student.  more i n v o l v e d w i t h school take more courses, not  life  While he hopes t o get  i n the next semester when he w i l l  he i s a p a t h e t i c and f e e l s t h a t the s c h o o l  r e a l l y matter because he has a happy f a m i l y  life.  While M i g u e l i s f r u s t r a t e d with h i s school l i f e , c l o s e Canadian f r i e n d (Nancy) has been h e l p f u l .  does  having a  He f e e l s  connected w i t h her d e s p i t e the short p e r i o d o f t h e i r f r i e n d s h i p , and he i s proud o f t h e i r f r i e n d s h i p because they both earned i t through hard work. (C) I d e a l Future L i f e In M i g u e l ' s i d e a l f u t u r e l i f e ,  h i s work i s p e r i p h e r a l  compared t o the f u t u r e with h i s f a m i l y .  While M i g u e l l i k e s h i s  p r o f e s s i o n and hopes to get i n v o l v e d i n both f i e l d work and managerial work as p o r t r a y e d  i n h i s drawing  o b t a i n i n g employment a f t e r graduation happen i n order  to provide  (Appendix F ) ,  i s something t h a t needs t o  for his family.  He a l s o r e a l i z e s t h a t  he w i l l have to work long hours e s p e c i a l l y i f he goes home. Differences him  i n working c o n d i t i o n s between Canada and Mexico make  f e e l ambiguous about going home s i n c e spending time w i t h  f a m i l y i s important f o r him. Miguel l i k e s the f a c t t h a t i n Canada people keep r e g u l a r working hours. In c o n t r a s t , h i s f a m i l y i s the centre o f h i s f u t u r e . cares  Miguel  about the f u t u r e o f h i s f a m i l y and becomes e x c i t e d when  t h i n k i n g about i t . As h i s drawing  (Appendix F) i n d i c a t e s , h i s  dream i s t o l i v e i n a house beside mountains w i t h h i s w i f e and their children.  He would l i k e to spend a l o t o f time w i t h them  47  doing t h i n g s such as c y c l i n g and t a k i n g walks.  He would l i k e t o  have a baby soon, and he wonders i f the past m i s c a r r i a g e by h i s wife i s a reason  f o r h i s wish f o r a baby, or i f he f e e l s  would b r i n g more happiness to an a l r e a d y good l i f e While Miguel  babies  with h i s wife.  has a c l e a r image of an i d e a l f a m i l y l i f e , he  i s not sure i f i t i s r e a l i s t i c .  He recognizes h i s w i f e ' s  needs  to do something f o r h e r s e l f o u t s i d e the home, but f e e l s unsure i f his  i d e a l p i c t u r e can accommodate such needs.  He a l s o  realizes  t h a t because o f h i s j o b he w i l l not be able to c o n t i n u e the present his  lifestyle  i n which he spends a great d e a l o f time w i t h  wife. For Miguel,  ideal future.  the present  life  i s a p r e p a r a t i o n stage  f o r an  He r e a l i z e s t h a t h i s choice i s e i t h e r t o go home  or t o s t a y i n Canada, and he i s aware o f the e f f e c t s o f each c h o i c e on h i s l i f e .  While a d e c i s i o n has not been made, i t seems  more p l a u s i b l e to l i v e  i n Canada to a c t u a l i z e h i s i d e a l p i c t u r e .  He t h i n k s i t may be a good i d e a t o s t a y i n Canada a t l e a s t  for a  while t o e s t a b l i s h a b a s i s f o r h i s f u t u r e . Lucy Lucy i s a 3 6-year o l d woman from Kenya. has  three young c h i l d r e n .  degrees approximately f a m i l y was s t i l l (A) I n i t i a l  She i s m a r r i e d and  She came to Canada t o pursue graduate  s i x years before the i n t e r v i e w , and h e r  i n Kenya a t the time of the i n t e r v i e w .  Period  F e e l i n g s o f a n x i e t y and u n c e r t a i n t y c h a r a c t e r i z e d the beginning  o f Lucy's new l i f e  i n Canada.  I t was h e r f i r s t  time to  48  live  i n a f o r e i g n country, and although she found h e r s u p e r v i s o r  helpful,  she f e l t anxious a n t i c i p a t i n g her new l i f e .  Lucy  d e s c r i b e d her f e e l i n g s as f o l l o w s : And t o me, i t was q u i t e a, I d i d n ' t know how I'm gonna cope w i t h e v e r y t h i n g , you know. And, o f course, I had a r e a l l y n i c e s u p e r v i s o r , yeah, he was v e r y h e l p f u l . But s t i l l , you know, you are, you concerned about the s t u d e n t s you gonna meet and... I t ' s more l i k e what's gonna, what's gonna happen, yeah.  However, the whole experience s h i f t e d when the c l a s s started.  While i t was d i f f i c u l t  f o r her to d e s c r i b e what e x a c t l y  went on d u r i n g the c l a s s e s , Lucy t r i e d t o e x p l a i n the unique dynamics i n the classroom through her drawing. c o n t a i n s words such as s u r v i v a l ,  invisible,  Her drawing  and s t r e s s f u l as w e l l  as p i c t u r e s o f the classroom scene and her c h i l d r e n Lucy used an e x e r c i s e i n the f i r s t dynamics.  (Appendix G) .  c l a s s as an example o f these  In t h i s e x e r c i s e , students were i n s t r u c t e d t o s i t i n  s m a l l c i r c l e s to introduce themselves. something was i n t e n s e .  The p r e s s u r e t o say  But when she f i n a l l y began t o t e l l  something about h e r s e l f , other students kept i n t e r r u p t i n g her by a s k i n g "pardon?" i n order to get her t o c l a r i f y what she was saying.  Since t h i s experience, Lucy became i n c r e a s i n g l y nervous  and s e l f - c o n s c i o u s about speaking E n g l i s h . Lucy a l s o f e l t unvalued i n the c l a s s s i n c e o t h e r s d i d not seem t o a p p r e c i a t e what she had shared w i t h them.  She thought  maybe her s t o r i e s were too f o r e i g n , and thus i r r e l e v a n t to them:  49  You j u s t f e e l l i k e nobody. In f a c t , people a r e not f a m i l i a r w i t h your, w i t h your background. You kind o f , you know, you f e l t t h a t you're r e a l l y not v a l u e d .  Moreover, the  Lucy f e l t there was l i t t l e room f o r her t o speak d u r i n g  c l a s s e s as everyone was competing f o r good marks on c l a s s  participation.  The s t r o n g sense o f c o m p e t i t i o n and the  e v a l u a t i o n c r i t e r i a which f a c i l i t a t e d c o m p e t i t i o n were f o r e i g n for  Lucy; she came from a c u l t u r e where people work t o g e t h e r  r a t h e r than t r y to outdo one another.  Struggling with a foreign  language and f o r e i g n values, she became i n c r e a s i n g l y  alienated  from o t h e r s . F e e l i n g s of i s o l a t i o n i n t e n s i f i e d s t e a d i l y . nobody n o t i c e d her although she was a s o - c a l l e d minority".  "visible  She d e s i r e d t o be connected w i t h o t h e r s but a t the  same time wished t o remain i n v i s i b l e . have time f o r her.  Besides, no one seemed t o  Lucy i n i t i a l l y thought Canadians were a l l  f r i e n d l y because they smiled and s a i d " h i " ,  but i t soon became  obvious t h a t doing so d i d not mean much to them. to  I t was as i f  I t was annoying  Lucy t h a t Canadian students d i d not even wait f o r her response  a f t e r s m i l i n g and s a y i n g " h i " .  To her, t h e i r s m i l e s were not  s i n c e r e but r e p r e s e n t e d " s u p e r f i c i a l f r i e n d l i n e s s " which d i d not i n v o l v e any r e a l  relationships:  Even when they of, ah, get t o you are doing, don't stop, to  say h e l l o , which i s an o p p o r t u n i t y t o k i n d know them b e t t e r o r there f o r them t o ask how so t h a t you say the t r u t h , you f i n d t h a t they even hear your r e p l y , you know.  50  She was so bothered by these s m i l e s that e v e n t u a l l y she p r e f e r r e d them not s m i l i n g at her r a t h e r than g i v i n g her " p l a s t i c s m i l e s " . The l a c k of meaningful r e l a t i o n s h i p s d i s t r e s s e d Lucy.  She  needed someone to l i s t e n to her and to share h e r f e e l i n g s .  Lucy  wanted to belong, but d i d not l i k e the f a s t pace of l i f e i n Canada where people are i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c and g o a l - o r i e n t e d . I t was a c l e a r c o n t r a s t from her c u l t u r e where i n d i v i d u a l s are p a r t of  a large c i r c l e  (community).  time f o r her because  Lucy f e l t o t h e r s d i d not have  they had no time f o r those who were  u n c e r t a i n of themselves: Yeah, you f e e l very i s o l a t e d and the, you were so a l o n e . You don't know who to ask q u e s t i o n s . And people are r e a l l y so focused on. They seem to know what they want and have no time, you know, f o r people who don't seem to know where they are.  Yearning f o r human connection, Lucy missed her f a m i l y , e s p e c i a l l y her young c h i l d r e n l e f t behind i n Kenya. how they were doing and w o r r i e d t h a t something to  them.  little  She wondered  bad c o u l d happen  I t was very hard f o r her t o face the f a c t t h a t she had  c o n t r o l over what went on w i t h t h e i r l i v e s .  She f e l t  g u i l t y and questioned h e r s e l f f o r b e i n g i n Canada f o r her own education: . . . t h a t ' s when you r e a l l y q u e s t i o n e d b e i n g here...because you t a l k on the phone, and t h e r e your c h i l d r e n wondering why you were away. You l e f t when they were s l e e p i n g , two years o l d . . . they ask you why you can't come and make cakes w i t h them. And there you are, having a hard time  51  Lucy f e l t and l i f e  t o r n between two worlds: home l i f e w i t h c h i l d r e n  i n Canada.  make h e r f e e l  The d i s t a n c e from her c h i l d r e n was enough to  " p a r t i a l l y dead" i n s i d e .  She e x p r e s s e d t h i s  f e e l i n g by drawing h e r s e l f c r y i n g while t h i n k i n g about h e r children. Because o f a l l the s a c r i f i c e s she made to come t o Canada, the  p r e s s u r e t o succeed was i n t e n s e .  But because t h e system was  u n f a m i l i a r and e v e r y t h i n g was done i n a f o r e i g n language, seemed imminent.  failure  She f e l t as i f she d i d not know what she was  doing i n c l a s s , and that the academic task was overwhelming.  It  was v e r y s t r e s s f u l f o r her, and she thought o f g i v i n g up a t times. I t was a matter o f s u r v i v a l .  Lucy became p a r t i c u l a r l y  f r i g h t e n e d when she heard about a female student from A f r i c a whose death had gone u n n o t i c e d f o r a week: F i r s t o f a l l , I thought about my s u r v i v a l . I meant r e a l l y s u r v i v i n g , you know, because I thought i t was p o s s i b l e to die t h e r e , you know. So I d i d n ' t want t o have t o d i e i n Canada, you know, come a l l the way to come and d i e here, oh no.  I t was s c a r y t o t h i n k o f the p o s s i b i l i t y o f death, and out o f f e a r , she d e c i d e d to d e c l a r e her p r i o r i t i e s . s u p e r v i s o r t h a t her f i r s t to  survive.  She t o l d h e r  p r i o r i t y was not academic  s u c c e s s but  The s u p e r v i s o r showed support and u n d e r s t a n d i n g , and  subsequently she s t a r t e d s o c i a l i z i n g w i t h those who were  52  supportive.  I t was  important  f o r Lucy to t r y not to d w e l l on her  p a i n too much so she c o u l d cope with the p r e s e n t . Overall, back, she now  i t was  a very s t r e s s f u l p e r i o d f o r Lucy.  Looking  r e a l i z e s t h a t other students were a l s o s t r e s s e d out  and p r e o c c u p i e d with t h e i r own  lives.  C u r r e n t l y , Lucy accepts  s m i l i n g and s a y i n g ' h i ' to passers-by as a p a r t of Canadian c u l t u r e , and o c c a s i o n a l l y f i n d s h e r s e l f doing the same.  She  also  r e a l i z e s t h a t many others go through the same p r o c e s s as she d i d , though t h e r e may  be i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s .  the experience, Lucy now  Having  come through  f e e l s stronger and b e t t e r - e q u i p p e d to  s u r v i v e i n a world whose values and c u l t u r e are d i f f e r e n t her  from  own.  (B) Present  Life  Lucy i s c u r r e n t l y r i g h t i n the middle of a t r a n s i t i o n .  It  i s a time t o e v a l u a t e i f i t was worth coming t o Canada b e f o r e moving beyond b e i n g a student. all  T h i s i s the time t o s y n t h e s i z e  i n f o r m a t i o n i n order to reach a d e c i s i o n about the f u t u r e .  She c a l l s t h i s s t a t e "makana" i n her language;  makana means a  s t a t e o f going back and f o r t h between d i f f e r e n t i d e a s o r o p t i o n s . I t i s an u n c e r t a i n phase where she wonders about how  l o n g she  w i l l s u r v i v e and whether she w i l l be able t o enjoy l i f e mere s u r v i v a l " .  Her u n c e r t a i n t y i s expressed by q u e s t i o n s  as "what next?" and She  "out where?" i n her drawing  i s in-between "coming-in" While  "beyond  and "going-out"  (Appendix  such G) .  stages.  Lucy knows t h a t she has a c h o i c e of s t a y i n g i n Canada  or going back home, having to make such a d e c i s i o n proves  to be  53  v e r y s t r e s s f u l f o r her.  Choosing her new home i s d i f f i c u l t  e s p e c i a l l y now t h a t she has l i v e d i n Canada f o r so l o n g t h a t she does not know which p l a c e she can c a l l home: I t ' s a l o t o f u n c e r t a i n t y , you know. You know, l i k e where do I go? You know, go back to country, go back home, o r do you s t a y here? Or where' s home now? Is i t the home I knew where I've been away f o r s i x years i n the past, you know. Can I s t i l l c a l l that home? How do I d e f i n e home?  She  a l s o f e e l s u n c e r t a i n about b r i n g i n g h e r c h i l d r e n t o Canada  because o f the e f f e c t s the t r a n s i t i o n w i l l to  have on them.  Having  t h i n k about others before reaching a d e c i s i o n i s v e r y  s t r e s s f u l , because she wants to make a r i g h t d e c i s i o n f o r h e r s e l f and  f o r her f a m i l y . Though she knows having  support  makes i t hard to develop a support i s v e r y important  would be h e l p f u l ,  network f o r Lucy.  For her, i t  t o have a community where people h e l p one  another r e g a r d l e s s o f age, gender, and e t h n i c i t y . she  stress  However, while  knows she can reach out to others, i t i s easy f o r h e r to  become i s o l a t e d because o f the school p r e s s u r e .  Nevertheless,  Lucy r e a l i z e s t h a t her f e e l i n g s are normal f o r those who go through a t r a n s i t i o n , and recognizes her own l i f e . hopes i t w i l l  Because the present  t h a t she i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r  s i t u a t i o n i s so wearying, she  end soon.  Comparing the f i r s t and second drawings, Lucy t h a t each d e p i c t s d i f f e r e n t s t r u g g l e s .  recognizes  In the f i r s t p e r i o d , the  main i s s u e was coming i n t o a new c u l t u r e and t r y i n g t o s u r v i v e ,  54  whereas the i s s u e s i n the second drawing concern having t o decide the d i r e c t i o n o f her l i f e . She  a l s o recognizes changes i n her e x p e r i e n c e .  s u c c e s s f u l at school d e s p i t e her i n i t i a l developed  She has been  u n c e r t a i n t y , and a l s o  a support network:  And your experience change, you know, you've been s u c c e s s f u l , t o o . You found f r i e n d s , you found a few f r i e n d s here, there, you found that people are not r e a l l y as t e r r i b l e as you thought they were.  She now sees a value i n coming to Canada, as she has l e a r n t about another  c u l t u r e and d i f f e r e n t ways o f l o o k i n g a t t h e world. I t i s  important  f o r her to a p p r e c i a t e her gains i n o r d e r t o make a  sound d e c i s i o n about her f u t u r e , and-because o f her achievement, she now f e e l s c o n f i d e n t and b e t t e r - e q u i p p e d t o d e a l w i t h any new challenges.  Lucy f e e l s l i k e she w i l l be a b l e t o s u r v i v e no  matter where she chooses to go. (C) I d e a l Future  Life  Lucy's drawing o f the i d e a l f u t u r e l i f e as "meaningful "community" for  work", " s a t i s f i e d " ,  (Appendix  "happy", " l o v e " , and  H). Among them, the most c r i t i c a l  h e r i s t o f i n d meaningful  her f a m i l y .  i n c l u d e s such words  aspect  work which enables h e r t o support  Because o f the s a c r i f i c e her c h i l d r e n have made f o r  her e d u c a t i o n , i t i s c r u c i a l f o r her t o be a b l e t o support them a f t e r graduation: They (her c h i l d r e n ) s u f f e r e d enough toward my programme. So I want to be able to wake up i n the morning knowing where  55  I'm do, going, I'm support them.  She  gonna do, and a l s o  (that) I'm  i s hoping that a job w i l l a l s o be m e a n i n g f u l .  meaningful work i s a job that has s t a b i l i t y ,  For her,  permanency, a  f u t u r e , and with which she can support o t h e r s . to  gonna  Lucy would l i k e  o b t a i n a job with some permanency c o n s i d e r i n g her  age.  While Lucy i s u n c e r t a i n of what i s r e q u i r e d to a c t u a l i z e her ideal,  she r e c o g n i z e s that she w i l l need time, p r e p a r a t i o n , and a  network.  L i v i n g i n a community has a v i t a l meaning f o r her; she  sees t h a t i t i s e s s e n t i a l to have a community where people support and h e l p one another reach one's g o a l s . Lucy used a metaphor of a b i r d to symbolize her p r e s e n t f e e l i n g s ; she f e e l s l i k e her wings were taken away f o r a long time, but now  she i s ready to f l y again w i t h her new  wings.  By  doing so, she i s hoping to h e l p other i n t e r n a t i o n a l students see t h a t they too w i l l have a day of f l y i n g h i g h . Victoria V i c t o r i a i s a 28-year o l d woman from China who but has no c h i l d r e n .  i s married  The i n t e r v i e w took p l a c e a p p r o x i m a t e l y  e i g h t months f o l l o w i n g her a r r i v a l i n Canada w h i l e her husband was  still  i n China.  (A) I n i t i a l P e r i o d V i c t o r i a ' s f i r s t day i n Canada q u i c k l y t u r n e d from a day f u l l o f excitement to that f i l l e d with sorrow and h e l p l e s s n e s s . She was  e x c i t e d because  i t was  her f i r s t  a l o n g wait to: see the Western world.  time t o go abroad  However, her  after  excitement  56  o n l y l a s t e d f o r a short while. it  When she  a r r i v e d at her new  s t r u c k her t h a t her l i f e had d r a s t i c a l l y changed, and  l o s t a l l her energy.  She  completely apathetic;  she d i d not want to do a n y t h i n g .  home,  Victoria  sat by her s u i t c a s e s and became The  sound  o f p e o p l e c e l e b r a t i n g Christmas u p s t a i r s i n another p a r t of house f u r t h e r depressed her. alone t h a t she  She  became v e r y sad and  felt  the so  started crying:  E s p e c i a l l y that day was boxing day. They are c e l e b r a t i n g Christmas downstairs, they are p l a y i n g the music and I don't know anybody here, s i t there, and I don't have any food to eat. I don't even have Canadian d o l l a r . I don't know where i s the bank, you know, know nothing. And I don't know what I can do. So when I hear the music and they l a u g h i n g and t a l k i n g , I s t a r t e d to c r y . Very very sad and l o s t .  The  p i c t u r e of h e r s e l f c r y i n g i n her new  memory t h a t she was  room was  so v i v i d i n her  able to reproduce i t i n her drawing  (Appendix  I) . In the  f o l l o w i n g week, as f e e l i n g s of i s o l a t i o n were f u r t h e r  entrenched, she l i v e d w i t h her  feared f o r her s u r v i v a l .  Moreover, the d i f f e r e n c e i n money value  between Canada and China made her worried;  f r i e n d s and  f a m i l y to help her f i n a n c i a l l y . e v e r y t h i n g being  she  c o u l d no  depression.  a difficult  longer  Without f a m i l y or  so expensive and  foreign, Victoria  became f e a r f u l i f she c o u l d s u r v i v e i n t h i s new I t was  always  family, the idea of l i v i n g alone i n a f o r e i g n  c o u n t r y i n t i m i d a t e d her.  expect her  Because she had  country.  f i r s t week c h a r a c t e r i z e d by  fear  In s p i t e of having much f r e e time, she was  and too  57  a f r a i d t o go out; e v e r y t h i n g was f o r e i g n , she had no sense o f direction,  and was s c a r e d o f having t o speak i n E n g l i s h :  J u s t I'm so scared. I don't know e v e r y t h i n g here. I was scared of l o s t . I don't dare to t a l k to people a t t h a t time. I t h i n k my E n g l i s h i s not good. I j u s t want t o be hide, to hide behind some p l a c e .  Wanting to hide from people, V i c t o r i a s t a y e d home w i t h the l a n d l o r d ' s f a m i l y and t r i e d not t o f e e l her emotions. i t would be b e t t e r as the time went by.  She knew  Her d e p r e s s i o n was so  overwhelming t h a t she o f t e n stayed i n bed d u r i n g the day. And whenever she dozed o f f , she had a dream o f b e i n g i n China. sorrow and hopelessness  s t r u c k her a f t e r she woke up.  Deep  She f e l t  as i f she may never be able to go back home: When I j u s t wake up, I s t i l l t h i n k I was i n China, but then s e v e r a l , a f t e r s e v e r a l seconds, I r e a l i z e , I can't, I have to s t a y here. Very, very sad. I t ' s j u s t l i k e , I can't go back, you know, f o r e v e r , I was separated from my f a t h e r forever.  The  s i t u a t i o n seemed to improve when V i c t o r i a v i s i t e d the  s c h o o l w i t h her l a n d l o r d a week a f t e r h e r a r r i v a l .  I t was  e x c i t i n g t o go t o s c h o o l as by then she was bored o f s t a y i n g home.  She walked around on the campus w i t h the l a n d l o r d , and  gained a p o s i t i v e impression about the s c h o o l .  What s u r p r i s e d  her was the number o f crows she saw on the campus.  I t was a  l i t t l e ominous as b l a c k b i r d s symbolized bad l u c k i n h e r c u l t u r e . A f t e r a while, V i c t o r i a went to h e r department and met a woman a t  58  the  f r o n t desk.  and  nervous i n s i d e . The  first  She t r i e d t o appear brave w h i l e f e e l i n g a f r a i d  few weeks o f school were p o s i t i v e f o r V i c t o r i a .  Although the f i r s t week o f school was d i s o r i e n t a t i n g , w i t h her a d v i s o r  and a p r o f e s s o r  they were both r e a s s u r i n g . and  left  her w i t h a sense o f hope as  She t r i e d to be a c t i v e d u r i n g  began to f e e l good about h e r s e l f a f t e r r e c e i v i n g  affirmation  meetings  from an i n s t r u c t o r .  classes  positive  Her l i f e seemed t o have  started  to move i n a p o s i t i v e d i r e c t i o n : I t ' s j u s t s t a r t e d , so I was very a c t i v e . I t r i e d to speak more. So Dr. Wong s a i d , "Oh you are f a n t a s t i c " . He s a i d because he know I j u s t a r r i v e here f o r s e v e r a l days. He s a i d u s u a l l y A s i a n students w i l l be v e r y shy and, you know, very quiet. So, you know, I f e e l r e a l l y good about myself.  However, the experience took another t u r n a f t e r a couple of weeks. V i c t o r i a found h e r s e l f unable t o understand l e c t u r e s and c o u l d not p a r t i c i p a t e i n d i s c u s s i o n s . n e g a t i v e f e e l i n g s she had f e l t  I t was a r e c u r r e n c e o f the  upon a r r i v a l .  .She was a f r a i d that  her E n g l i s h was not good enough, and she c o u l d not comprehend the sudden change o f her s t a t u s .  I t was l i k e having f a l l e n from a  competent student to an incompetent one: I was so used to be the top one... And now here, I, you know, I f e e l myself almost the l a s t one.. A l l o f a sudden... I can't understand.  Her  confidence q u i c k l y d i s s i p a t e d as a consequence, and  V i c t o r i a began to see h e r s e l f i n a n e g a t i v e l i g h t .  Her  59  classmates t r i e d t o h e l p her, yet she f e l t as though o t h e r s saw her as a " s t u p i d " person w i t h no o p i n i o n s . about how she appeared  She was s e n s i t i v e  i n the eyes of Canadian  seemed so used t o e x p r e s s i n g themselves.  s t u d e n t s who  The s i t u a t i o n seemed  beyond h e r c o n t r o l , and i t was so hopeless that she dropped one course; t h e r e was then o n l y one course which r e q u i r e d c l a s s participation. burden f o r her. and she f e l t  Yet, having even one course f e l t  l i k e a heavy  The l e c t u r e s were loaded w i t h t h e o r e t i c a l  exhausted  a f t e r every c l a s s .  terms,  A l l the academic tasks  were q u i t e new t o her, and V i c t o r i a w o r r i e d p a r t i c u l a r l y about a class presentation.  She d i d not know how t o conduct a  p r e s e n t a t i o n because she had never done t h a t b e f o r e , n o r d i d she t h i n k she knew enough to do so. While textbooks became h e r major r e s o u r c e , she c o n s t a n t l y w o r r i e d about f a i l i n g about h e r academic f u t u r e .  t h e course and  Her f e e l i n g s about h e r s e l f were  extremely n e g a t i v e : I l o s e my s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e . Every aspect i s out o f c o n t r o l , I can do n o t h i n g r i g h t . So the f e e l i n g o f m y s e l f i s v e r y bad, you know.  Consequently,  V i c t o r i a s t a r t e d withdrawing  at school.  Her  n e g a t i v e s e l f - i m a g e l e d t o d e p r e s s i o n and a sense o f i s o l a t i o n ; l a c k o f a support network f u r t h e r exacerbated the s i t u a t i o n .  It  was too f r i g h t e n i n g t o speak t o others, and she became so depressed t h a t she j u s t wanted to stay home.  Even on Chinese New  Year which i s a major h o l i d a y f o r Chinese, she d i d n o t want t o go  60  out and  celebrate.  So she phoned home i n s t e a d , but became more  sad because she c o u l d hear her f a m i l y c e l e b r a t i n g t o g e t h e r . was  c r i t i c i z e d , however, when she shared her f e e l i n g s w i t h  father.  He  t o l d her to change her a t t i t u d e , which l e f t  f e e l i n g l i k e she was However, her  not being  understood.  she had with him.  the p r o a c t i v e approach as her her  f a t h e r sent her  resource  Victoria started reconsidering  f a t h e r ' s words because of a high respect connection  a letter.  s t r e n g t h d u r i n g times when she  her  her  f a t h e r ' s c r i t i c i s m e v e n t u a l l y became a  t h a t gave her d i r e c t i o n .  She  She  f o r him  and  began to t h i n k she  f a t h e r had The  suggested.  a  her  strong  should  take  Later  on,  l e t t e r became a source of  felt  sad and  alone:  He (her father) w r i t e the whole b i g , l i k e s e v e r a l pages l e t t e r to me. And when I f e e l bad, I read i t again, again, again, and again. And i t r e a l l y give me a k i n d of s p i r i t u a l encouragement.  Looking back, V i c t o r i a recognizes situation difficult, did  during  was  a way  but  that p e r i o d  her own  at the same time she  r o l e i n making r e a l i z e s what  (staying home with the l a n d l o r d ' s  of p r o t e c t i n g h e r s e l f .  s t r o n g memory of s t r u g g l e and  The  first  the  she  family)  p e r i o d remains a  sadness which w i l l never  be  forgotten. (B) Present  Life  V i c t o r i a drew b e a u t i f u l scenery to symbolize her about her c u r r e n t l i f e  (Appendix I ) .  feelings  During the p r e v i o u s  she began to enjoy l i f e by going out and  summer  exploring d i f f e r e n t  61  places.  Her s i s t e r , who  l i v e d i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s , p r o v i d e d her  w i t h support and encouragement d u r i n g the f i r s t p e r i o d , and helped her a great d e a l .  She now  f e e l s as i f she were a Canadian.  f e e l s being i n c o n t r o l  this  and  V i c t o r i a r e a l i z e s some  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students are not happy with t h e i r l i v e s here,  but  she i s q u i t e happy. V i c t o r i a ' s p o s i t i v e outlook on l i f e extends f u t u r e s i n c e she was  granted f i n a n c i a l a i d .  to her  financial  Upon a r r i v a l ,  she  r e a l i z e d t h a t she c o u l d not r e l y on her parents because of the d i f f e r e n c e i n value of currency between Canada and China.  I t has  been f r u s t r a t i n g and at times i t seemed i m p o s s i b l e to support h e r s e l f c o n s i d e r i n g her l i m i t e d language a b i l i t y and about Canada.  knowledge  Thus, the news of b e i n g granted f i n a n c i a l a i d gave  her a sense of hope.  V i c t o r i a began to f e e l o p t i m i s t i c about her  f i n a n c i a l future. The academic s i t u a t i o n had a l s o improved, and s o l i d i f i e d her s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e . grades  at the end o f the f i r s t  support.  this  V i c t o r i a had a c h i e v e d h i g h term with her a d v i s o r ' s h e l p  During the summer she t r i e d to meet v a r i o u s people  and and  involve h e r s e l f with various a c t i v i t i e s : So summertime i s coming and I t r i e d to p a r t i c i p a t e i n v o l u n t e e r a c t i v i t y i n i n t e r n a t i o n a l house, yeah, s t a r t e d to c o n t a c t those people, g e t t i n g to know p e o p l e . Just a c t i v e l y t r y to get more money and chances, you know. So i n the summer, I f e e l very, q u i t e good, yeah, I t h i n k , j u s t l i k e I'm Canadian.  62  She  a l s o a u d i t e d a course she had once dropped.  the second semester, V i c t o r i a achieved she had once g i v e n up.  By t h e end o f  a high mark i n t h e course  This was a s i g n i f i c a n t achievement f o r  her s i n c e i t i n v o l v e d a f i n a l exam with essay q u e s t i o n s p r e s e n t e d a s i g n i f i c a n t challenge  which  for her.  A l t h o u g h V i c t o r i a ' s future has many u n c e r t a i n t i e s , a p o s i t i v e s e l f - p e r c e p t i o n and f e e l i n g s o f being her t o s t a y o p t i m i s t i c .  She has c o l l e c t e d i n f o r m a t i o n ,  r e a l i z e s t h a t she has options for  f u r t h e r education.  i n c o n t r o l enabled and now  such as moving t o t h e U n i t e d  She no longer worries  States  about h e r f u t u r e ,  because she f e e l s competent i n making her own d e c i s i o n s and because she b e l i e v e s f o c u s i n g on the p o s i t i v e w i l l cope w i t h f u t u r e c h a l l e n g e s .  empower h e r to  V i c t o r i a i s not a f r a i d o f l i f e  anymore because she i s i n c o n t r o l : But a t l e a s t I, I can, you know, t h i n k by m y s e l f . Yeah, I can make d e c i s i o n by myself now. I f e e l r e a l l y good. (C) I d e a l Future L i f e V i c t o r i a p i c t u r e s her i d e a l l i f e as l i v i n g i n Canada w i t h her  f a m i l y , as i n d i c a t e d i n her drawing  has  been her dream to l i v e i n a Western country because o f t h e  l i m i t e d options  (Appendix J) .  While i t  i n China, being u n i t e d with her f a m i l y i s a l s o  important f o r her.  Thus, the most p r e s s i n g t a s k  i s to obtain  permanent r e s i d e n t s t a t u s i n order to sponsor h e r f a m i l y t o l i v e i n Canada.  She p a r t i c u l a r l y wishes to have h e r husband come t o  Canada as soon as p o s s i b l e , because she f e e l s s e p a r a t i o n detrimental  e f f e c t on t h e i r marriage.  has a  63  Another dream i s to become a p r o f e s s i o n a l . have a c a r e e r , education.  Whatever the s p e c i a l i z a t i o n would be,  She  wishes to  s p e c i a l i z i n g p o s s i b l y i n c o u n s e l l i n g or s p e c i a l  to have a meaningful job which would allow her helpful.  She  she  would l i k e  to be  creative  and  does not want to become an elementary teacher or  o f f i c e worker with r o u t i n e t a s k s .  In her  husband would be p r o f e s s i o n a l s and  they would l i v e i n a house  w i t h a view of a beach and mountains.  ideal l i f e ,  She  she  and  a l s o would l i k e  an her  to  have a baby someday. V i c t o r i a r e a l i z e s that studying  hard and  f i n d i n g a job a f t e r  g r a d u a t i o n w i l l help her a c t u a l i z e her dreams.  Because the most  important goal i s to b r i n g her  she  take a n o n - p r o f e s s i o n a l  f a m i l y together,  job at l e a s t t e m p o r a r i l y .  f a m i l y i s p l a y i n g a major r o l e i n d e t e r m i n i n g her a l s o l o o k i n g at other p o s s i b i l i t i e s Canada or the U.  S.)  is willing While  to  her  f u t u r e , she  is  (getting further education i n  i n case i t does not work out  to b r i n g  her  f a m i l y to Canada. Jamie Jamie i s a 25-year o l d female graduate student from China. She  i s s i n g l e , and  came to Canada f o r f u r t h e r  education  approximately e i g h t months b e f o r e the i n t e r v i e w . the i n t e r v i e w , (A)  Initial  she was  At the  time of  l i v i n g by h e r s e l f i n Vancouver.  Period  Jamie was Canadian school  f u l l of f e a r and f o r the f i r s t  excitement when she  time, but  visited  her  soon became overwhelmed  by c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s between her home and  Canada.  64  R e g i s t r a t i o n posed the f i r s t c h a l l e n g e s i n c e at home e v e r y t h i n g was  l a i d out f o r students; a l l she had to do was  to go to the  d e s i g n a t e d c l a s s e s and l i s t e n to the i n s t r u c t o r s . registration,  Terms used f o r  such as "seminars" and " l e c t u r e s " , were c o n f u s i n g ,  and she had to ask other students and p r o f e s s o r s f o r h e l p . was  She  overwhelmed by the f a c t that she had to do e v e r y t h i n g on her  own,  and i t took her a while to get used t o the  idea.  In c o n t r a s t , the f i r s t day of c l a s s r e v e a l e d a welcome surprise. about  Not knowing anything about Canada, she was  nervous  the i d e a of s t u d y i n g i n E n g l i s h w i t h C a u c a s i a n s .  was  a p l e a s a n t s u r p r i s e to f i n d Chinese s t u d e n t s i n the  She  f e l t much b e t t e r a f t e r having t a l k e d w i t h them. The d i f f e r e n c e s between Canadian  obvious as the c l a s s proceeded.  where students r a r e l y spoke out.  students i n t e r a c t e d  v e r y d i f f e r e n t from  She a l s o f e l t  i n Canada were not so s t r i c t as those a t home. d i f f e r e n c e s was  class.  and Chinese s c h o o l s became  Canadian  a c t i v e l y w i t h i n s t r u c t o r s , which was  Thus, i t  that  China  instructors  S e e i n g these  e x c i t i n g and i n t e r e s t i n g f o r h e r .  However, the experience took another t u r n when Jamie f a c e d u n f a m i l i a r academic t a s k s .  Assignments caused a g r e a t d e a l o f  a n x i e t y because she had no i d e a what was wondered how she was  expected o f her.  She  she c o u l d do the task, and c o n s t a n t l y f e l t unsure i f  doing what was  expected.  In her s t r u g g l e , language became a p r e s s i n g i s s u e and a source of f r u s t r a t i o n .  She c o u l d not understand  lectures  fully,  and w h i l e she t r i e d to compensate f o r t h i s by s t u d y i n g textbooks,  65  t h i s r e s u l t e d i n g r e a t e r f r u s t r a t i o n because she c o u l d not read quickly: And i t (reading) was so slow, yeah. Some, sometimes even one hour, I p r o b a b l y o n l y read l i k e two pages or so, yeah.  The  l a c k of language s k i l l s l e d to a n x i e t y and f e e l i n g s of  hopelessness.  Jamie b e l i e v e d that others saw  her as a slow  person when she spoke E n g l i s h , and she consequently became v e r y s e n s i t i v e about speaking E n g l i s h .  I t was  very f r u s t r a t i n g  and  worrisome f o r her, because she d i d not know whether her E n g l i s h was,  or would ever be,  good enough to study w i t h Canadians.  This  l e d her to f e e l p e s s i m i s t i c about her f u t u r e . The  f i r s t p e r i o d i s a l s o c h a r a c t e r i z e d by i s o l a t i o n .  remembers s t a n d i n g alone watching w i t h one  another.  Jamie  other students t a l k i n g h a p p i l y  Jamie expressed t h i s f e e l i n g by drawing  h e r s e l f as a brown s m a l l e r f i g u r e while drawing o t h e r s l a r g e and i n b r i g h t c o l o u r s (Appendix her f i g u r e symbolized  K).  She e x p l a i n e d t h a t the c o l o u r of  the l o n e l i n e s s she f e l t ,  and the s m a l l s i z e  r e p r e s e n t e d her n e g a t i v e f e e l i n g s about h e r s e l f .  While  feeling  d i f f e r e n t and separated from others, Jamie dreamt of the day when she c o u l d j o i n the group: Yeah, they may be, you know, s e v e r a l people t o g e t h e r and, yeah, and they are, they are, they are t a l k i n g happy news, and anyway, so so. And I'm, I'm k i n d o f l o n e l i f u l . If someday I c o u l d speak r e a l l y w e l l and I have f r i e n d s and, wow, t h a t w i l l be r e a l l y n i c e . Look a t these people, they are so happy and... Yeah, how come I cannot j o i n t h a t world, you know.  66  However, Jamie knew t h a t the day would not come soon.  She was  f e a r f u l and worried, wondering how long i t might take her t o be a b l e t o l i v e l i k e other people having many f r i e n d s and b e i n g happy.  During t h i s p e r i o d , she f e l t so small and i n v i s i b l e t h a t  she f e l t  as i f o t h e r s i g n o r e d her.  She was l o n e l y and d i d not  have much c o n f i d e n c e . Looking back, Jamie now recognizes how much her E n g l i s h has improved s i n c e she came t o Canada.  She f e e l s a sense o f awe over  the change t h a t happened s i n c e the i n i t i a l p e r i o d . (B) Present  Life  Jamie's p r e s e n t l i f e i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a sense o f b e i n g normal, and t h i s i s d e p i c t e d i n her drawing  (Appendix K ) ; the sky  i s normal and she i s no d i f f e r e n t from o t h e r s .  The f i g u r e o f  h e r s e l f has the same c o l o u r and e x a c t l y the same s i z e as o t h e r s . Its  c o l o u r can change as her moods change, "sometimes b l u e ,  sometimes clouded, different  j u s t l i k e normal people".  from o t h e r s , she i s now comfortable  F e e l i n g no i n Canada and f e e l s  good about b e i n g independent. While her f e e l i n g o f b e i n g d i f f e r e n t has decreased, still  senses d i s t a n c e from Canadians.  f r i e n d s but they a r e not c l o s e .  Jamie  She has some Canadian  C o n s i d e r i n g the f a c t t h a t she  f e e l s c l o s e t o other i n t e r n a t i o n a l students, t h e r e seems t o be a c u l t u r a l b a r r i e r between h e r s e l f and Canadians. Likewise, Jamie sees h e r s e l f as being in-between two cultures.  Although  Canadian c u l t u r e has become more f a m i l i a r as  67  her knowledge o f Canada has i n c r e a s e d , she f e e l s she cannot change h e r s e l f to become Canadian.  T h i s leads her to f e e l  u n c e r t a i n about how to behave around Canadians  because she does  not know i f they see h e r as "Chinese" o r j u s t "another One example i s whether t o c a l l She in  student".  p r o f e s s o r s by t h e i r f i r s t names.  knows c a l l i n g them by t h e i r f i r s t names i s commonly accepted graduate  s c h o o l s i n Canada, y e t wonders i f they t h i n k h e r to  be rude because i t i s not a p p r o p r i a t e i n China.  There does not  seem to be a way that transcends c u l t u r e s , and t h i s causes her to f e e l confused about how she should behave i n order to be considered favourably: Yeah, I know Canadian i s t h a t , you know. But which, which way s h a l l I choose, I j u s t f e e l r e a l l y confused, you know. Is which way they w i l l accept me more, you know.  Despite f e e l i n g confused at times and d i s t a n t Canadians,  from  Jamie has some c l o s e f r i e n d s and t h i s has h e l p e d her  f e e l a p a r t o f the world.  She now f e e l s i n c l u d e d , and does not  become j e a l o u s when she sees o t h e r s t a l k i n g h a p p i l y w i t h friends.  She a l s o enjoys exchanging  their  ideas w i t h a few Canadian  f r i e n d s who sometimes e x p l a i n Canadian ways t o h e r . Academic success has a l s o c o n t r i b u t e d t o h e r p o s i t i v e f e e l i n g s towards her c u r r e n t l i f e .  Jamie gained  self-confidence  when she d i s c o v e r e d t h a t she c o u l d compete f a v o u r a b l y w i t h Canadian  students.  Now, she does not l e t the language  limitation  bother her because she knows t h a t she i s a capable p e r s o n .  When  68  people are i m p a t i e n t with her E n g l i s h , she j u s t reminds  herself  t h a t she i s not i n f e r i o r to them as she can speak two languages: Sometimes I a c t u a l l y encountered some people, you know, they are q u i t e impatient when they wait f o r a l o n g time t o get my response because I j u s t cannot p i c k up the r i g h t word t o express my... But I f e l t , "Oh w e l l , p r o b a b l y I'm even b e t t e r than you. I know other language. I'm n o t bad a t anything."  Her  f e e l i n g s have changed since f i r s t  a r r i v i n g here.  With  i n c r e a s e d f a m i l i a r i t y and knowledge about Canada and h e i g h t e n e d s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e , Jamie now f e e l s i n c o n t r o l o f her l i f e . (C) I d e a l Future L i f e Jamie mixed d i f f e r e n t c o l o u r s i n her i d e a l f u t u r e drawing to represent a v a r i e t y of a c t i v i t i e s  (Appendix L ) .  The drawing  i n c l u d e s times f o r working hard at her job, r e l a x i n g , and enjoying h e r s e l f , chooses  and changes i n c o l o u r depending  on what she  to do and how she f e e l s at a c e r t a i n time:  I f I would draw a l i f e p i c t u r e s , so p r o b a b l y i t ' s l i k e a, i t should be changeable. Sometimes maybe green, sometimes yellow, and sometimes even r e a l l y , I would use these k i n d o f r e a l l y b o l d c o l o u r , i t ' s l i k e r e a l l y k i n d o f heavy, s t r e s s e d out and s e r i o u s , hard working.  For  her, b a l a n c i n g work and l e i s u r e i s important as she sees both  as complementary. did of  not work hard. Canadian  She a l s o t h i n k s she would f e e l g u i l t y i f she For Jamie,  i t means i n t e g r a t i n g the v i r t u e s  and Chinese c u l t u r e s since she c o n s i d e r s b e i n g  69  i n d u s t r i o u s i s a Chinese t r a d i t i o n whereas b e i n g r e l a x e d i s a Canadian c h a r a c t e r i s t i c . While  Jamie a p p r e c i a t e s having i n h e r i t e d Chinese  which she f e e l s make her a s e r i o u s person,  values  she would l i k e t o add  some " l i g h t c o l o u r " i n t o her l i f e by i n c o r p o r a t i n g Canadian culture.  However, there are c e r t a i n Canadian v a l u e s she does not  want to i n f l u e n c e her.  One  such value i n v o l v e s h a v i n g i n t i m a t e  r e l a t i o n s h i p s b e f o r e marriage. p e r c e p t i o n may  While Jamie admits  be a f f e c t e d by her own  t h a t her  p r e j u d i c e o f Canadian  c u l t u r e , she f e e l s Chinese people take such r e l a t i o n s h i p s more s e r i o u s l y than her Canadian c o u n t e r p a r t s . t r a d i t i o n a l Chinese way  She p r e f e r s the  because she t h i n k s i t h e l p s people t o be  more l o y a l to t h e i r p a r t n e r s . Family o c c u p i e s an important p a r t i n Jamie's i d e a l Family p r o v i d e s her with a working team to face l i f e  together.  T h i s i n c l u d e s h a v i n g a p a r t n e r with whom she can share hardships of l i f e . cannot In  the  F r i e n d s can be h e l p f u l , yet she f e e l s  they  replace family. o r d e r to a c t u a l i z e her i d e a l l i f e ,  needs time.  Jamie r e a l i z e s  she  With time she w i l l be able t o absorb more about  Canadian c u l t u r e and to enhance her E n g l i s h language  ability.  She a l s o p e r c e i v e s a degree and academic success t o be to  picture.  reach her g o a l .  Furthermore,  necessary  to r e a l i z e her i d e a l l i f e , i t  w i l l be h e l p f u l to have a c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p .  70  Katherine K a t h e r i n e i s a female Chinese f u r t h e r pursue her education.  student who came t o Canada t o  She i s i n her e a r l y 30s and l i v e s  w i t h her husband and t h e i r two-year o l d daughter. a l s o Chinese  and works i n a l o c a l s t o r e .  They a r e hoping  w i l l be e n r o l l e d i n a Canadian u n i v e r s i t y soon. took p l a c e approximately  Her husband i s t h a t he  The i n t e r v i e w  t e n months a f t e r her a r r i v a l i n  Vancouver. (A) I n i t i a l  Period  K a t h e r i n e was v e r y e x c i t e d and nervous on the day she was to go to a Canadian s c h o o l f o r the f i r s t time.  I t was because i t  had taken her one year to a c t u a l i z e her dream.  D u r i n g t h a t one  year, K a t h e r i n e had many concerns: her E n g l i s h s k i l l s may not be enough t o compete i n a graduate  school and c l a s s format and  textbooks may be completely d i f f e r e n t i n Canada.  Support and  encouragement from her Canadian f r i e n d s were v a l u a b l e i n t h i s period.  She f e l t t h a t without them she may have g i v e n up the  i d e a o f going t o Canada. But when i t came, Katherine's f i r s t v i s i t  t o s c h o o l was  marked by a c a r e l e s s remark by a Canadian p r o f e s s o r .  She  u n e x p e c t a n t l y met a p r o f e s s o r and was q u i t e nervous d u r i n g t h e i r conversation.  When the p r o f e s s o r phoned h e r s u p e r v i s o r , however,  K a t h e r i n e heard him r e f e r t o her as "a young l a d y who c o u l d not speak E n g l i s h v e r y w e l l " .  Katherine was shocked.  She thought  her E n g l i s h was f a i r l y good f o r an i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t u d e n t . d e s c r i b e d her f e e l i n g s as f o l l o w s :  She  71  Yeah, i t was r e a l l y shock to me because I was t h i n k i n g my E n g l i s h was okay when I was i n China. And compare to other Chinese students, my, ah, how do you say that, my o r a l E n g l i s h i s not too bad. Yeah, at, at l e a s t compared to those, urn, Chinese c o u n t e r p a r t s . And I was t h i n k i n g , "Okay, i f they can handle them, I can handle them as w e l l " . But the f i r s t day, he s a i d t h a t .  She  f e l t depressed, yet, d e s p i t e her  him  and  harm.  left  as i f nothing had  inner t u r m o i l ,  happened.  She  she  thanked  knew he meant  no  A f t e r t h i s encounter, however, K a t h e r i n e became  i n c r e a s i n g l y nervous about speaking E n g l i s h .  She  also f e l t  an  urgency to improve E n g l i s h . In c o n t r a s t , p o s i t i v e note.  the  f i r s t day  o f c l a s s s t a r t e d on a more  Because of the support from other i n t e r n a t i o n a l  students, Katherine f e l t c o n f i d e n t nervous, but more curious I t was  i n handling  school.  She  was  to see what would happen on t h a t  day.  a n i c e s u r p r i s e to f i n d s e v e r a l Chinese students i n  classroom.  Katherine became happy as her  have a good s t a r t .  Her  school  p o s i t i v e f e e l i n g and  however, as soon as the l e c t u r e s t a r t e d .  the  l i f e seemed to  optimism d i s s i p a t e d ,  Katherine could  not  understand the i n s t r u c t o r ' s E n g l i s h because o f h i s heavy accent, and  the content was  a l s o not very i n t e r e s t i n g .  withdraw a f t e r s e v e r a l  f o r Katherine.  w e l l , and was insecure  and  d e c i d e d to  classes.  During the i n i t i a l p e r i o d , challenge  She  She  language posed the  d i d not  biggest  f e e l t h a t she was  c o n s t a n t l y w o r r i e d about her anxious every time she met  her  studies.  She  supervisor.  doing felt It  was  72  very  stressful,  and the pressure  she f e l t was heavy l i k e the  backpack she drew (a backpack symbolizes both the mental and p h y s i c a l burden she had to c a r r y a l l the t i m e ) . science,  Majoring i n  however, r e l i e v e d some s t r e s s s i n c e Katherine  mainly  d e a l t w i t h numbers and symbols r a t h e r than language. The  i n i t i a l p e r i o d was a l s o c h a r a c t e r i z e d by her d i m i n i s h e d  self-concept.  Although there were many Chinese students i n her  department, Katherine  f e l t the dominant presence o f Canadians  ( t h i s was d e p i c t e d by the l a r g e f i g u r e s i n her drawing, Appendix M) .  I t seemed t h a t the m a j o r i t y of people a t s c h o o l were those  who were born and brought up i n Canada, and, t h e r e f o r e , system, and had no problem g e t t i n g around. compared t o others  as a major source of support.  advice,  information,  f r i e n d l y and h e l p f u l , her.  Katherine  felt  small  around her.  In t h i s c h a l l e n g i n g s i t u a t i o n , other served  Katherine  knew the  students from China  They p r o v i d e d  and encouragement.  her with  Because they were  she f e l t as i f they were w a l k i n g  a l s o enjoyed the p e a c e f u l  and n a t u r a l  beside environment  of Vancouver. Having gone through the f i r s t p e r i o d , Katherine sees her g o a l as o b t a i n i n g a degree.  now c l e a r l y  She f e e l s c o n f i d e n t and  b e l i e v e s t h a t she can achieve her g o a l . (B) Present  Life  Katherine  sees her present  l i f e as the toughest  because o f s e v e r a l new c h a l l e n g e s .  period  Her drawing shows h e r s e l f ,  73  her daughter, and her husband going i n separate  ways t o p l a c e s •  t h a t are s t r e s s f u l f o r each of them (Appendix M): Everybody's u n w i l l i n g to go to those p l a c e s . My husband doesn't want to go to the bakery. My daughter, she doesn't want t o go to the b a b y - s i t t e r . Me, myself, I would l i k e to go to u n i v e r s i t y but s t i l l there's so many d i f f i c u l t i e s out t h e r e w a i t i n g f o r me.  Katherine's  life  has d r a s t i c a l l y changed s i n c e the i n i t i a l  period  because she changed her major and gave b i r t h t o her daughter. Since she changed majors from s c i e n c e t o a r t s ,  language and  f i n a n c e s have become more p r e s s i n g i s s u e s f o r K a t h e r i n e .  The  s c h o o l demands have become heavier as she now has to read, and  give presentations i n English.  write,  The f i n a n c i a l s i t u a t i o n has  become more c o n s t r a i n e d because there i s l e s s f i n a n c i a l a i d a v a i l a b l e i n her c u r r e n t department,compared t o her p r e v i o u s one. However, her c u r r e n t major i s more i n t e r e s t i n g , her t o s t a y motivated. and  enjoys  sense o f g u i l t .  sitter.  helps  She f e e l s much b e t t e r about her s u b j e c t  t a l k i n g to her s u p e r v i s o r .  In her f a m i l y l i f e ,  little  and t h i s  Katherine  i s e x p e r i e n c i n g s t r e s s and a  Her g u i l t stems from the f a c t t h a t she has  time f o r her f a m i l y and she sends her daughter t o a babyDuring  one p a r t i c u l a r l y s t r e s s f u l p e r i o d her daughter  c r i e d constantly.  Katherine  t r i e d to r e l i e v e the s i t u a t i o n by  changing b a b y - s i t t e r s , but t o no a v a i l .  She d i d not know why her  daughter c r i e d so much, and worried about what was happening with the b a b y - s i t t e r s .  While the s i t u a t i o n has s i n c e improved, her  74  daughter s t i l l  seems unhappy.  Despite a l l the s t r e s s ,  however,  K a t h e r i n e r e c o g n i z e s the j o y she gains from her daughter symbolize  this,  (to  she drew her daughter i n red, appendix M) .  K a t h e r i n e a l s o f e e l s g u i l t y about her husband because goes to s c h o o l while he works.  Although  she r e c o g n i z e s  she  her  husband's gains, she f e e l s he has l o s t something s i n c e he came here e s p e c i a l l y because he was  a competitive student  i n China:  I f e e l g u i l t y about my, I mean to him (her husband) as w e l l , because, as I s a i d he was the best student i n our... As I s a i d , we were classmates i n high s c h o o l and he was the best and he went to the number one u n i v e r s i t y i n China. And he came here simply because I came here. And because of h i s language, he had to go to work i n a bakery.  Moreover, the heavy school l o a d leads her to study even d u r i n g weekends, and she f e e l s g u i l t y about not having time family.  f o r her  She p e r c e i v e s that her husband i s unhappy, and  i s hoping  t h a t they w i l l be happier once he e n r o l l s i n a u n i v e r s i t y once she  and  graduates.  (C) I d e a l Future  Life  K a t h e r i n e ' s drawing of her i d e a l f u t u r e l i f e  i s i n bright  p i n k and a l l her f a m i l y members are happy t o g e t h e r i n a house (Appendix N) .  In her drawing, she has  i s happy w i t h her f a m i l y . a Ph.D.  few  f i n a n c i a l worries  Katherine i s hoping  and  to be e n r o l l e d i n  program and hopes that l i f e w i l l be b e t t e r f o r h e r s e l f  and her f a m i l y once she obtains a job a f t e r  graduation.  K a t h e r i n e a l s o hopes t h a t her f a m i l y w i l l be a b l e to enjoy each o t h e r ' s company when the f i n a n c i a l s t r e s s i s r e l i e v e d .  She  75  would l i k e t o spend more time with her f a m i l y and enjoy w i t h them.  nature  She hopes that her daughter w i l l have "whatever the  o t h e r k i d s have". K a t h e r i n e has a very s t r o n g wish f o r h e r daughter t o become educated.  She t h i n k s t h i s may be because o f h e r c u l t u r a l  background where education i s deemed t o be most important.  To  her, e d u c a t i o n i s a passport f o r a b e t t e r l i f e because i t w i l l enable h e r daughter t o develop She  a career and become independent.  a l s o f e e l s t h a t with education her daughter w i l l  b e t t e r chance o f becoming well-mannered, keeping occupied,  and p o s s i b l y f i n d i n g a good husband.  have a  herself Nonetheless,  K a t h e r i n e hopes t h a t the task o f going t o s c h o o l w i l l not be as s t r e s s f u l f o r h e r daughter as i t was f o r h e r s e l f . All  the f a m i l y members have a road t o reach t h e i r goals i n  K a t h e r i n e ' s i d e a l l i f e drawing  (Appendix N) .  For h e r husband,  she hopes t h a t he w i l l be able t o f u l f i l l h i s academic p o t e n t i a l by going t o a u n i v e r s i t y i n Canada. life  That might l e a d t o a b e t t e r  f o r them because both o f them w i l l be p r o f e s s i o n a l s . K a t h e r i n e b e l i e v e s hard work, both i n terms o f h e r study and  language, w i l l  l e a d to the achievement o f h e r i d e a l l i f e .  She  a l s o r e c o g n i z e s that time and o p p o r t u n i t y w i l l p l a y a r o l e i n a c t u a l i z i n g her g o a l . Summary o f Common Themes Themes are r e p o r t e d under the three phases o f adjustment suggested  by Schlossberg  moving out.  (1981): moving i n , moving through, and  T h i s s e c t i o n summarizes o n l y the common themes that  76  were r e p o r t e d by more than two p a r t i c i p a n t s .  A summary o f unique  themes are presented i n Appendix 0 . In each phase, the f o l l o w i n g three c a t e g o r i e s a r e used t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e aspects of the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' e x p e r i e n c e s :  emotional  dynamics, e x t e r n a l dynamics, and b e h a v i o u r a l dynamics.  Emotional  dynamics are emotions and f e e l i n g s the p a r t i c i p a n t s  experienced,  w h i l e e x t e r n a l dynamics represent events and s i t u a t i o n a l t h a t the p a r t i c i p a n t s p e r c e i v e d . dynamics summarize behaviours  factors  Themes under the b e h a v i o u r a l  that the p a r t i c i p a n t s took i n  r e a c t i o n t o t h e i r emotional s t a t e s and e x t e r n a l dynamics.  The  summary o f themes i s presented i n Table 1 (numbers i n b r a c k e t s s i g n i f y the number of p a r t i c i p a n t s who r e p o r t e d each theme).  TABLE 1 Summary of Themes Moving In - A n t i c i p a t i o n Period Common Themes  Unique Themes  Emotional Dynamics  Excitement (2) Fear(2) Loneliness (2) Nervousness (2)  Shame  External Dynamics  Cold Weather (2) Communication Difficulties (2)  Facing Foreign Tasks Lack of Support  Behavioral Dynamics  Problem-Solving (3) Repression of Feelings (2)  77  Moving Through - I n i t i a l Period Emotional Dynamics  Common Themes Reported by More Than Three Nervousness  (5)  Unique Themes  Guilty and T o r n Confusion o f Self-Perception  Fear(4) Loneliness (4) Feeling of Inadequacy (4) Feeling of Invisibility (4) Excitement, Curiosity (3)  Reported by Two Depression (2) Overwhelmed (2)  Sense of Having an Ally (2)  External Dynamics  Interpersonal Issues (5) Communication Difficulties (5) Structural Issues (3) Physical Environment  Behavioral Dynamics  (3)  Problem-Solving (4)  Using metaphorical support  Withdrawal (3)  Moving Out - Present L i f e Emotional Dynamics  Common Themes Reported by More Than Three Self-Confidence (5) Uncertainty about Future (4)  Unique Themes  Guilt Isolation Disappointment with school  Increased Comfort (3)  Reported by Two  Sense of Belonging (2) Financial Pressure (2) Stress (2)  External Dynamics  Reported by More Than Three  Identity Issue  Interpersonal Issues (4) Academic Life (4)  Reported by Two Family (2) Future (2)  Behavioral Dynamics  Problem-Solving (3)  Active Involvement with Family. Living Independently  78  Moving In - A n t i c i p a t i o n Period T h i s p e r i o d extends from a p e r i o d where the p a r t i c i p a n t s waited  f o r t h e i r departure  to Canada u n t i l the time t h e i r  first  c l a s s began. (A) Emotional Dynamics Excitement, Fear,  L o n e l i n e s s , and Nervousness  While excitement, f e a r , and l o n e l i n e s s are commonly experienced  by s e v e r a l , not a l l the p a r t i c i p a n t s experienced  s t r o n g emotions i n t h i s p e r i o d .  T h i s p e r i o d posed a major  challenge, p a r t i c u l a r l y for V i c t o r i a .  She d e s c r i b e d how she was  suddenly s t r u c k by a f e e l i n g o f apathy when she was dropped o f f at her new home: And I j u s t s i t i n the room. And suddenly, you know, I don't have any mood to, to be happy or t o look around, you know. I j u s t don't know what t o do. I j u s t s i t , s a t t h e r e .  For a week, V i c t o r i a was depressed and f e l t alone. f e e l i n g o f nervousness on her f i r s t v i s i t one  Her  to s c h o o l was shared by  other p a r t i c i p a n t .  (B) E x t e r n a l Dynamics Two common dynamics were found as e x t e r n a l f a c t o r s t h a t i n f l u e n c e d the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' l i v e s before were c o l d weather and communication C o l d Weather and Communication  starting school.  They  difficulties.  Difficulties  Two p a r t i c i p a n t s r e p o r t e d c o l d weather and communication d i f f i c u l t i e s as i n f l u e n t i a l f a c t o r s d u r i n g the p e r i o d b e f o r e the  79  first  c l a s s began.  V i c t o r i a remembered the day she a r r i v e d i n  Canada as c o l d and dark,  and t h i s impression s e t a tone f o r the  difficult  f i r s t week where she faced her new l i f e without much  support.  She a l s o experienced the f i r s t  conversation with a  Canadian as t h a t o f misunderstanding. K a t h e r i n e remembered the heavy snow on the day she v i s i t e d s c h o o l f o r the f i r s t  time.  Katherine a l s o experienced her f i r s t  c o n v e r s a t i o n with a Canadian i n an unfavourable way; she heard the man r e f e r r i n g to her as "a l a d y who c o u l d not speak E n g l i s h very well".  T h i s experience r e s u l t e d i n i n t e n s i f y i n g her a n x i e t y  about E n g l i s h . (C) B e h a v i o u r a l Dynamics Two common themes were i d e n t i f i e d . p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g attempts Problem-Solving  The common themes were  and r e p r e s s i o n o f f e e l i n g s .  Attempts  Three p a r t i c i p a n t s r e p o r t e d t h a t they made some attempts t o improve t h e i r s i t u a t i o n s .  These a c t i o n s i n c l u d e d s e e k i n g help,  t r y i n g out a new academic course, and t r y i n g to make sense o f t h e i r experiences.  V i c t o r i a asked v a r i o u s people t o h e l p her  w i t h d i f f e r e n t tasks d u r i n g the i n i t i a l p e r i o d .  She asked her  l a n d l o r d t o accompany her to school as i t was i n t i m i d a t i n g to go t h e r e alone, and requested a course c o n s u l t a t i o n w i t h h e r s u p e r v i s o r when the s c h o o l s t a r t e d .  K a t h e r i n e t r i e d t o make  sense o f what happened a f t e r having heard someone speak n e g a t i v e l y o f her E n g l i s h .  I t was her way o f c o p i n g w i t h  f e e l i n g s t h a t were evoked by t h i s  incident.  80  Repression of F e e l i n g s Two  p a r t i c i p a n t s d e s c r i b e d t h a t they t r i e d to r e p r e s s t h e i r  emotions by t r y i n g not to f e e l them or to conceal them. K a t h e r i n e attempted  not t o show her shock when she heard a  n e g a t i v e e v a l u a t i o n of her E n g l i s h .  V i c t o r i a was  she t a l k e d to a Canadian f o r the f i r s t contrary. depressed  nervous when  time, but a c t e d to the  V i c t o r i a a l s o t r i e d not to f e e l emotions when she  was  f o r a week s i n c e her a r r i v a l i n Canada.  Moving Through - The I n i t i a l Period T h i s p e r i o d i s d e f i n e d as a p e r i o d of s t r u g g l i n g i n a environment which began w i t h the f i r s t (A) Emotional  class.  Dynamics  Nine emotional responses participants.  While  emerged as common to some  each of these i s d e f i n e d and r e p o r t e d i n  separate s e c t i o n s , they f r e q u e n t l y overlapped one participants'  new  another  i n the  experiences.  Of nine common themes, those experienced by more than t h r e e p a r t i c i p a n t s were nervousness, inadequacy,  invisibility,  fear, l o n e l i n e s s ,  and excitement  f e e l i n g s of  and c u r i o s i t y .  Two  p a r t i c i p a n t s r e p o r t e d e x p e r i e n c i n g depression, f e e l i n g s of b e i n g overwhelmed, and a sense of having  allies.  Themes Reported by More Than Three P a r t i c i p a n t s Nervousness Nervousness was the p a r t i c i p a n t s .  one of the dominant emotions r e p o r t e d by a l l  T h i s f e e l i n g was  e x p l a i n e d as f e e l i n g worried,  81  anxious, i n s e c u r e , evaluation.  uncertain,  and s e n s i t i v e to o t h e r s '  While i n s e c u r i t y about one's E n g l i s h seemed t o  contribute to t h i s f e e l i n g ,  f a c i n g u n f a m i l i a r s i t u a t i o n s and  tasks a l s o p r e c i p i t a t e d t h e i r nervousness. a n x i e t y about being  assigned  I f e l t k i n d o f worried, going t o catch up?  S i m i l a r l y , Lucy d e s c r i b e d  Jamie d e s c r i b e d her  f o r e i g n academic tasks  as f o l l o w s :  yeah, w r i t i n g assignments, how am I  her nervous f e e l i n g s as f o l l o w s :  When you go to c l a s s e s , you f e e l l i k e you don't know what you are doing here. Then, you are t o l d you gonna have to w r i t e a t h e s i s . Then, they come with a p r o p o s a l , and you l i k e , "Oh, what on e a r t h i s t h a t ? " , you know.  S e v e r a l p a r t i c i p a n t s expressed that they f e l t nervous and i n f e r i o r because Canadian students seemed so competent.  Lucy  d e s c r i b e d h e r f e e l i n g s as f o l l o w s : You see, most Canadians who go to graduate s t u d i e s seem t o know what they want. And they t a l k a l o t . And you found that sometimes t h e r e ' s no space to t a l k , you know, whether you want i t or n o t .  Katherine  felt  department.  that Canadians had a dominant presence i n h e r  Jamie drew a l a r g e r f i g u r e to r e p r e s e n t  while drawing h e r s e l f as a small person.  Canadians  82  Fear A person i s f e e l i n g f e a r f u l when she/he i s a f r a i d or Four p a r t i c i p a n t s i n d i c a t e d having  experienced  this  scared.  feeling  d u r i n g t h e i r i n i t i a l p e r i o d i n Canada. T h e i r accounts i n d i c a t e d that the f o l l o w i n g t h r e e f a c t o r s c o n t r i b u t e d to t h e i r f e a r : a l a c k of f a m i l i a r i t y ,  diminished  s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e , and u n c e r t a i n t y over the d u r a t i o n o f the situation.  For example, V i c t o r i a d e s c r i b e d t h a t she was  because e v e r y t h i n g  ( i n c l u d i n g the surroundings,  language) was  f o r e i g n f o r her.  and of having  to speak to people o u t s i d e o f her home.  The arrival. did  She was  people,  was  fearful and  the  scared of g e t t i n g l o s t  second f a c t o r concerns s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e they Miguel  current  l o s t upon  a f r a i d of t a l k i n g to Canadians because he  not f e e l c o n f i d e n t about h i s E n g l i s h .  Victoria lost  her  s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e as she c o u l d not understand the l e c t u r e s and became withdrawn i n s c h o o l . The  t h i r d c o n t r i b u t i n g f a c t o r was  the c h a l l e n g i n g s i t u a t i o n would l a s t .  u n c e r t a i n t y about how  long  Lucy became f e a r f u l  because she thought t h a t she c o u l d become a l i e n a t e d to the p o i n t where she c o u l d d i e i n i s o l a t i o n . prospect  t h a t the i n i t i a l  Katherine  was  s c a r e d of  s i t u a t i o n c o u l d l a s t very  the  long.  Loneliness A person f e e l s l o n e l y when she/he f e e l s alone and or a l i e n a t e d from o t h e r s .  I t was  a major c h a l l e n g e  p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the i n i t i a l p e r i o d .  Two  isolated  f o r four  participants described a  s i t u a t i o n where they were watching a group of students  talking  83  happily.  Jamie d e s c r i b e d t h a t she f e l t so f a r away from the  others i n s p i t e of b e i n g so c l o s e to them i n p h y s i c a l p r o x i m i t y : See, from the geography p e r s p e c t i v e , maybe I'm q u i t e c l o s e to them. I mean, compared to when I was i n China, now I'm c l o s e to Caucasians. But I'm s t i l l f a r away from them.  Lucy's f e a r of becoming i s o l a t e d i n t e n s i f i e d when she heard o f a dead woman from her home country whose body went u n n o t i c e d  for a  week. F e e l i n g of Inadequacy A f e e l i n g of inadequacy was r e p o r t e d by four p a r t i c i p a n t s .  another dominant emotion T h i s f e e l i n g was  d e f i n e d as a  person f e e l i n g s t u p i d or slow, or f e e l i n g t h a t h e r / h i s are meaningless and  irrelevant.  stories  I t i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a l a c k of  s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e i n one's c a p a b i l i t i e s . Lucy d e s c r i b e d her f e e l i n g s of inadequacy when o t h e r students  i n the c l a s s i n t e r r u p t e d her by s a y i n g "Pardon?".  further f e l t  t h a t her s t o r i e s were not v a l u e d i n the c l a s s  because they were f o r e i g n . appearing thinking.  Jamie e x p l a i n e d her  slow to other students V i c t o r i a was  consequently  She  who  f e e l i n g s of  seemed so quick i n t h e i r  a f r a i d of appearing  stupid,  and  grew s e n s i t i v e about o t h e r s ' o p i n i o n of h e r .  d e s c r i b e d her f e e l i n g s as f o l l o w s : I t h i n k they have the f e e l i n g t h i s student, you know, so q u i e t and don't have any there, my own o p i n i o n , you know. Because Canadian students, they are so used to express themselves, to, to show up. So I was q u i t e  She  84  s e n s i t i v e i n t h i s aspect, other people's o p i n i o n on and appearance e s p e c i a l l y .  Miguel  felt  me  so ashamed of himself f o r not b e i n g a b l e to speak  E n g l i s h t h a t he became withdrawn i n s c h o o l . F e e l i n g of  Invisibility  A f e e l i n g of i n v i s i b i l i t y inadequacy i n many i n s t a n c e s . inadequate may  was  accompanied by a f e e l i n g of  That i s , a person  feeling  be l i k e l y to f e e l i n v i s i b l e as w e l l .  p a r t i c i p a n t s ' accounts i n d i c a t e d t h a t they f e l t  However, the  completely  i g n o r e d when they f e l t i n v i s i b l e , while a f e e l i n g o f inadequacy seemed to have more to do with i n v a l i d a t i o n o f  their  capabilities.  i t was  Thus, when they f e l t  invisible,  of people not seeing t h e i r whole e x i s t e n c e . accompanied by f e e l i n g s of shame, of b e i n g s m a l l , of not belonging,  and of being  Three r e p o r t e d having period.  This f e e l i n g f o r e i g n , of  ignored.  Jamie r e p o r t e d that she f e l t o t h e r s  others.  was  being  f e l t t h i s f e e l i n g d u r i n g the  she were "out of the group". to  a feeling  initial  i g n o r e d her as i f  This l e d her to f e e l s m a l l compared  Lucy e x p l a i n e d that she f e l t  i n v i s i b l e i n c l a s s e s as  i f she were a nobody. Excitement and C u r i o s i t y Three p a r t i c i p a n t s reported having beginning  felt  of t h e i r i n i t i a l p e r i o d i n Canada.  e x c i t e d i n the An  individual is  e x c i t e d when he/she f e e l s a c t i v e and c u r i o u s to d i s c o v e r  the  d i f f e r e n c e s between t h e i r home c u l t u r e and host c u l t u r e . Katherine  was  e x c i t e d and c u r i o u s on her f i r s t day  of s c h o o l i n  85  Canada.  Jamie was e x c i t e d t h a t she could see d i f f e r e n c e s i n the  ways i n which the i n s t r u c t o r and students another.  i n t e r a c t e d w i t h one  V i c t o r i a d e s c r i b e d that e v e r y t h i n g was new and e x c i t i n g  on the f i r s t day o f s c h o o l . Themes Reported by Two P a r t i c i p a n t s Depression Two p a r t i c i p a n t s reported having i n i t i a l period. sad,  f e l t depressed d u r i n g  They d e s c r i b e d t h i s f e e l i n g as f e e l i n g  and a p a t h e t i c .  Jamie expressed  grey,  her f e e l i n g by drawing  h e r s e l f i n n e u t r a l c o l o u r s , and explained t h a t she was grey while s e e i n g others as c o l o u r f u l f i g u r e s . experienced  their  feeling  Victoria  an i n t e n s e f e e l i n g o f apathy upon a r r i v a l .  She  r e a l i z e d t h a t her l i f e had changed, and had no energy t o take any action.  She a l s o d e s c r i b e d that she s l e p t a great d e a l even  d u r i n g the day, when she f e l t sad and down. F e e l i n g o f Being Overwhelmed An i n d i v i d u a l f e e l s overwhelmed when she/he f e e l s little  c o n t r o l over the s i t u a t i o n at hand.  experienced  this feeling.  Miguel  having  Two p a r t i c i p a n t s  reported having  felt  overwhelmed when the i n s t r u c t o r s t a r t e d a l e c t u r e i n the f i r s t class.  The i n s t r u c t o r spoke very f a s t and Miguel  could not  understand most o f i t . Jamie d e s c r i b e d t h a t she f e l t  she had no  c o n t r o l over the s i t u a t i o n and that she c o u l d not p r e d i c t what would happen next while i n the i n i t i a l p e r i o d .  86  Sense of Having Two was  Allies  d e s c r i b e d t h a t . s u p p o r t by other i n t e r n a t i o n a l  students  a v a l u a b l e element i n d e a l i n g with the c h a l l e n g e s o f t h e i r  i n i t i a l period.  A person f e e l s supported when she/he p e r c e i v e s  h e r / h i s f e e l i n g s to be understood  and v a l i d a t e d , and when she/he  r e c e i v e s encouragement, reassurance, and h e l p from o t h e r s . K a t h e r i n e d e s c r i b e d t h a t she f e l t  as i f "other  Chinese  students were walking beside her" i n the i n i t i a l p e r i o d . of  t h e i r reassurance,  i n Canada.  Jamie's a n x i e t y was  students i n her f i r s t was  she f e l t  Because  c o n f i d e n t of h a n d l i n g s c h o o l reduced at the s i g h t o f  c l a s s i n Canada.  life  Chinese  She d e s c r i b e d t h a t she  nervous when she entered the classroom but became much more  comfortable a f t e r t a l k i n g to these students.  These d e s c r i p t i o n s  i n d i c a t e t h a t a sense of s h a r i n g the same s t r u g g l e p l a y e d an important  r o l e i n d e a l i n g with t h e i r new  l i v e s i n Canada.  Mutual  support seemed to g i v e a sense of community and of h a v i n g an for  ally  these p a r t i c i p a n t s .  (B) E x t e r n a l Dynamics F i v e areas were i d e n t i f i e d as common s i t u a t i o n a l  factors  t h a t i n f l u e n c e d the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' experiences d u r i n g the period since t h e i r f i r s t language d i f f i c u l t i e s , environment. participants.  class.  initial  They were i n t e r p e r s o n a l i s s u e s ,  s t r u c t u r a l i s s u e s , and  physical  A l l of them were r e p o r t e d by more than  three  87  Interpersonal All  Issues  the p a r t i c i p a n t s experienced i s s u e s r e l a t e d t o  interpersonal relationships.  These i s s u e s i n c l u d e e x p e r i e n c i n g  d i f f i c u l t y i n bonding with Canadian students, p e r c e i v i n g a l a c k of  support, m i s s i n g one's home country, and r e c e i v i n g support and  a f f i r m a t i o n from one's f r i e n d s ,  f a m i l y , and s u p e r v i s o r .  Lucy found t h a t there was no room f o r bonding  i n Canada, and  a t t r i b u t e d t h i s t o i n d i v i d u a l i s m i n Western c u l t u r e . meaningful different saw  A lack of  r e l a t i o n s h i p s d i s t r e s s e d her because i t was so from her community-oriented  culture.  S i m i l a r l y , . Jamie  h e r s e l f as being out of the group; she p e r c e i v e d Canadian  students were happy and comfortable while she was a l o n e . At the same time, some r e p o r t e d t h a t they r e c e i v e d support and p o s i t i v e r e g a r d from o t h e r s . s u p e r v i s o r ' s understanding support  Lucy a p p r e c i a t e d her  and support.  Katherine perceived  from other i n t e r n a t i o n a l students as a v a l u a b l e h e l p i n  the i n i t i a l p e r i o d . Language D i f f i c u l t i e s All  the p a r t i c i p a n t s r e p o r t e d to have e x p e r i e n c e d  d i f f i c u l t i e s with English.  Four out o f f i v e p a r t i c i p a n t s s t a t e d  t h a t they had d i f f i c u l t y understanding  lectures.  Jamie d e s c r i b e d  t h a t i t was d i f f i c u l t t o f e e l p o s i t i v e about h e r s e l f because she c o u l d not understand  l e c t u r e s , and f u r t h e r attempt  t o compensate  t h i s by r e a d i n g was met with another b a r r i e r as h e r r e a d i n g was so slow.  V i c t o r i a f e l t her experience s h i f t e d when she found out  how l i t t l e she understood  i n lectures.  The i n i t i a l  confidence  88  she had f e l t d i s s i p a t e d q u i c k l y , and she withdrew from o t h e r s by avoiding  s o c i a l contacts.  posed a major h u r d l e  These accounts suggest t h a t  language  and a f f e c t e d the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' p s y c h o l o g i c a l  well-being  as w e l l as e f f i c i e n c y to deal with t h e i r new l i v e s .  Structural  Issues  . Three p a r t i c i p a n t s r a i s e d s t r u c t u r a l i s s u e s t h a t t h e i r l i v e s i n the i n i t i a l p e r i o d . information,  Examples i n c l u d e a l a c k o f  d i s o r g a n i z a t i o n at school,  d i f f e r e n c e s between Canadian schools  finding structural  and those i n one's home  country, and d e a l i n g with u n f a m i l i a r tasks The  influenced  p a r t i c i p a n t s ' accounts exemplify  such as r e g i s t r a t i o n . these i s s u e s .  had  a hard time f i n d i n g the classroom f o r h i s f i r s t  his  second c l a s s was c a n c e l l e d without any n o t i f i c a t i o n .  V i c t o r i a e x p e r i e n c e d a s i m i l a r challenge school. trouble  Miguel  c l a s s , and  on her f i r s t  day o f  She found the s i t u a t i o n at school c h a o t i c and had f i n d i n g the i n f o r m a t i o n  she needed f o r r e g i s t r a t i o n .  These e x p e r i e n c e s seemed to e l e v a t e t h e i r In c o n t r a s t ,  anxiety.  Jamie found the d i f f e r e n c e s between s c h o o l s i n  Canada and those i n her home country i n t e r e s t i n g . t h a t students i n Canada played  She p e r c e i v e d  a more a c t i v e r o l e d u r i n g  classes  compared t o those a t home, and that the c l a s s format was not as r i g i d as i t was at home. P h y s i c a l Environment Three p a r t i c i p a n t s reported played  that environmental f a c t o r s  a r o l e i n c o n s t r u c t i n g t h e i r experiences.  were c l i m a t e ,  These f a c t o r s  n a t u r a l environment, and a r c h i t e c t u r e a t s c h o o l .  89  J  Two s t a t e d t h a t the c o l d and dark c l i m a t e a f f e c t e d t h e i r moods i n a n e g a t i v e way.  These two people began t h e i r l i v e s i n Canada i n  w i n t e r when t h e r e was l i t t l e  sunshine i n Vancouver,  seemed t o i n f l u e n c e t h e i r f i r s t in  impressions about  and t h i s  t h e i r new l i v e s  Canada. A l s o , M i g u e l p e r c e i v e d the s c h o o l b u i l d i n g as enormous on  his  first  day o f s c h o o l .  Katherine r e p o r t e d t h a t the beauty of  nature r e l i e v e d her s t r e s s d u r i n g the i n i t i a l  period.  (C) B e h a v i o u r a l Dynamics Two common b e h a v i o u r a l themes emerged as a c t i o n s t h a t the p a r t i c i p a n t s took d u r i n g the i n i t i a l p e r i o d .  They were  problem-  s o l v i n g behaviours and withdrawal, and both o f these themes were r e p o r t e d by more than three p a r t i c i p a n t s . Problem-Solving  Behaviours  Four p a r t i c i p a n t s r e p o r t e d t h a t they i n i t i a t e d some form o f p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g behaviours. Three types o f such b e h a v i o u r were i d e n t i f i e d from t h e i r accounts: r e a c h i n g out t o o t h e r s , t r y i n g to r e g a i n c o n t r o l over the s i t u a t i o n , at  hand. All  to  and t r y i n g t o focus on tasks  f o u r p a r t i c i p a n t s d e s c r i b e d that they approached  r e l i e v e a sense o f a l i e n a t i o n and i s o l a t i o n .  others  A l t h o u g h Miguel  p e r c e i v e d s e v e r a l o f these attempts as a f a i l u r e because unable t o keep up c o n v e r s a t i o n , he repeated such attempts  he was until  he f i n a l l y succeeded i n engaging i n a meaningful c o n v e r s a t i o n . Jamie e x p l a i n e d that her a n x i e t y was r e l i e v e d s i g n i f i c a n t l y speaking t o Chinese students i n the f i r s t  class.  after  90  The second type of problem-solving behaviour c h a r a c t e r i z e d by an attempt  was  to r e g a i n c o n t r o l over the s i t u a t i o n .  Four p a r t i c i p a n t s d e s c r i b e d a t t i t u d e s such as t r y i n g to s o l v e the problem by h i m / h e r s e l f , d e c l a r i n g p r i o r i t i e s ,  actively  p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n c l a s s e s , and s t u d y i n g textbooks t o compensate f o r a l a c k of E n g l i s h comprehension.  V i c t o r i a and Jamie t r i e d to  supplement t h e i r i n a b i l i t y to understand l e c t u r e s by r e a d i n g textbooks. p r i o r i t y was  Lucy d e c l a r e d to her s u p e r v i s o r t h a t her  not academic success but to s u r v i v e i n Canada.  A t h i r d form of p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g behaviour was attempt  first  marked by an  to focus on t a s k s r a t h e r than d w e l l i n g on t h e i r  feelings.  Lucy s t a t e d t h a t she t r i e d to l e t go of her p a i n i n o r d e r to focus on the task at hand. Withdrawal Three p a r t i c i p a n t s withdrew from the s i t u a t i o n e i t h e r by p h y s i c a l l y dropping a course or by keeping s i l e n t d u r i n g c l a s s . V i c t o r i a and M i g u e l r e p o r t e d that they s a i d n o t h i n g i n the c l a s s e s i n the b e g i n n i n g because  they were unable to understand  and to p a r t i c i p a t e i n c l a s s d i s c u s s i o n s .  Katherine decided to  drop the course a f t e r f i n d i n g that she c o u l d not understand  the  lectures.  Moving Out - Present L i f e T h i s s e c t i o n summarizes the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' e x p e r i e n c e s o f their current l i v e s .  91  (A) Emotional Dynamics S i x emotional themes were i d e n t i f i e d as common among s e v e r a l participants.  Among them, more than three p a r t i c i p a n t s  e x p e r i e n c e d a sense of s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e , u n c e r t a i n t y , increased  comfort with Canadian l i f e ,  of b e l o n g i n g ,  f i n a n c i a l pressure,  themes are d e f i n e d s e p a r a t e l y , w i t h one  and  while two stress.  and  reported  a sense  A l t h o u g h these  they a f f e c t each other  and  overlap  another.  Themes Reported by More Than Three P a r t i c i p a n t s Increased All increased  Self-Confidence the p a r t i c i p a n t s reported s i n c e the i n i t i a l p e r i o d .  that t h e i r s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e They d e s c r i b e d  this  has  feeling  as f e e l i n g b e t t e r about themselves, knowing themselves as a capable person, a sense of having c o n t r o l over t h e i r l i v e s , not b e i n g  a f r a i d of c h a l l e n g e s .  contributed  In four cases,  to t h e i r e l e v a t e d s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e .  academic success d e s p i t e Because they d i s c o v e r e d  t h e i r language and  and  academic success They a l l achieved  cultural  handicaps.  that they c o u l d compete w e l l w i t h  Canadians, t h e i r f e e l i n g s about themselves improved a great  deal.  Jamie s t a t e d : I guess a l s o because, yeah, s t u d i e s , because I r e a l l y got a v e r y good marks, you know. I f e l t r e a l l y good, "Wow, you see, I can do as w e l l as you guys".  In some cases, being  in control.  i n c r e a s e d s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e l e d to a sense of V i c t o r i a and  Jamie r e p o r t e d  t h a t they now  feel  92  in  c o n t r o l o f t h e i r l i v e s and are no longer a f r a i d o f t h e i r  future. Uncertainty Four p a r t i c i p a n t s i n d i c a t e d t h a t they some aspects o f t h e i r l i v e s .  f e e l u n c e r t a i n about  T h i s f e e l i n g was accompanied by  f e e l i n g s o f i n s e c u r i t y , anxiety, and worry. Some r e p o r t e d insecure f e e l i n g s over academic matters, one  p a r t i c i p a n t expressed  her. life.  Miguel  u n c e r t a i n t y about o t h e r s ' o p i n i o n s of  i s u n c e r t a i n about the purpose o f h i s c u r r e n t  Katherine  while  f e e l s insecure about her E n g l i s h .  school  Jamie i s not  sure how to behave around p r o f e s s o r s i n order t o be c o n s i d e r e d favorably.  She f e e l s u n c e r t a i n about how she i s viewed as  Chinese o r j u s t another Family  student.  caused some to f e e l u n c e r t a i n .  Lucy found h e r s e l f  unable t o make a d e c i s i o n about her f u t u r e because o f the impact her d e c i s i o n w i l l have on her f a m i l y .  Her a n x i e t y was f u r t h e r  augmented by her u n c e r t a i n f e e l i n g s about where t o c a l l Katherine  home.  was w o r r i e d about her daughter when her daughter c r i e d  constantly.  She f e l t anxious and concerned about what had  happened a t the b a b y - s i t t e r s where she sent her daughter. Comfortable with L i f e i n Canada Three p a r t i c i p a n t s i n d i c a t e d t h a t they a r e now in  Canada.  comfortable  They d e s c r i b e d t h a t they f e l t happy and p o s i t i v e  about t h e i r l i v e s i n Canada and t h a t they were more used to Canadian c u l t u r e . life  Miguel  e x p l a i n e d that he was accustomed to h i s  i n Canada, and was happy with h i s wife l i v i n g i n Canada.  93  V i c t o r i a i s now happy i n Canada, and t r i e s to focus on p o s i t i v e aspects whenever she faces h a r d s h i p s . Themes Reported by Two P a r t i c i p a n t s Sense o f B e l o n g i n g T h i s f e e l i n g was d e s c r i b e d by two p a r t i c i p a n t s as " f e e l i n g l i k e Canadians", " f e e l i n g normal j u s t l i k e Canadians", and p e r c e i v i n g themselves equal to Canadians.  Jamie expressed t h i s  f e e l i n g by drawing h e r s e l f i n the same s i z e and c o l o u r s as Canadians.  While she r e c o g n i z e s c u l t u r a l d i s t a n c e between  h e r s e l f and Canadians, she does not see h e r s e l f any s m a l l e r than they are, and does not become envious when she sees o t h e r s b e i n g happy w i t h t h e i r f r i e n d s .  V i c t o r i a d e s c r i b e d that she f e l t as i f  she were a Canadian now that she knew the system and had l i t t l e problem g e t t i n g around. F i n a n c i a l Pressure Two p a r t i c i p a n t s r e p o r t e d b e i n g under f i n a n c i a l p r e s s u r e . T h i s was d e s c r i b e d as b e i n g p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h one's situation,  financial  f e e l i n g s t r e s s e d out about one's f i n a n c e s , and  worrying about one' f i n a n c i a l f u t u r e .  K a t h e r i n e d e s c r i b e d the  c u r r e n t s i t u a t i o n as f i n a n c i a l l y very s t r e s s f u l because her husband's family.  minimum wage j o b was the s o l e source o f income i n her Lack o f f i n a n c i a l a i d i n her department  to her s t r e s s .  also  contributed  In c o n t r a s t , V i c t o r i a f e e l s o p t i m i s t i c about her  f i n a n c i a l future.  Although money i s always a concern f o r her,  she now f e e l s she w i l l f i n d ways t o support h e r s e l f .  94  Stress F e e l i n g s o f s t r e s s were c h a r a c t e r i z e d by an attempt to meet others'  expectations  o f themselves, and spending a great d e a l of  time t r y i n g to meet demands while having l i t t l e time f o r themselves.  Lucy d e s c r i b e d  t h a t she was "being  kept on toes a l l  the time" as she t r i e d to s a t i s f y demands o f s c h o o l d e c i s i o n about her f u t u r e . be  t o reach a  The decision-making p r o c e s s proved to  s t r e s s f u l f o r her because o f the pressure  to make a p e r f e c t  decision. Katherine  d e s c r i b e d her present  l i f e as "the toughest ever"  due  to the demands o f c h i l d - r e a r i n g and p r e s s u r e  Her  current  and  r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s as a mother, a student, and a w i f e .  life  from  school.  i s very s t r e s s f u l because she has m u l t i p l e  roles  (B) E x t e r n a l Dynamics Although f i v e themes were i d e n t i f i e d as common t o s e v e r a l p a r t i c i p a n t s , o n l y two were common among more than participants.  three  Each p a r t i c i p a n t seemed to have a p a r t i c u l a r i s s u e  t h a t was dominant i n h e r / h i s present  life,  and t h i s may be  because each p a r t i c i p a n t ' s unique l i f e circumstances had become a more i n f l u e n t i a l  f o r c e s i n c e s u r v i v i n g the i n i t i a l p e r i o d .  f i v e common themes were i n t e r p e r s o n a l i s s u e s , academic family,  f u t u r e , and f i n a n c i a l s t r e s s  commonalty).  The  life,  ( l i s t e d i n order o f  95  Themes Reported by More Than Three P a r t i c i p a n t s Interpersonal Of  Issues  four p a r t i c i p a n t s who  i s s u e s , two  reported  to have i n t e r p e r s o n a l  of them i n d i c a t e d that they experienced  difficulties. supervisor.  interpersonal  Miguel mentioned communication he had w i t h h i s Katherine  experienced the s i t u a t i o n where she became  a mediator between two  disagreeing p a r t i e s .  the experience where she overheard others  She  also  described  criticizing  her.  Three p a r t i c i p a n t s s t a t e d that they r e c e i v e d help support from o t h e r s . confidence  Despite  because of o t h e r s '  and  some o b s t a c l e s , Katherine a f f i r m a t i o n of her  V i c t o r i a counted support of her  supervisor  valuable  life.  element i n her c u r r e n t  gained  ability.  and her  s i s t e r as a  Academic L i f e Academic l i f e  has both p o s i t i v e and negative  four p a r t i c i p a n t s .  Three p a r t i c i p a n t s accounted that  academic s i t u a t i o n has V i c t o r i a and  aspects f o r their  improved s i n c e the i n i t i a l p e r i o d .  Jamie, i t was  For  an unexpected academic success t h a t  c o n t r i b u t e d to t h e i r p o s i t i v e f e e l i n g s about t h e i r c u r r e n t w h i l e f o r Katherine, and p o s i t i v e p o i n t s .  changing her major brought i n both Since  she  changed from s c i e n c e  language became a h e a v i e r burden and However, she has  lives,  negative  to a r t s ,  s c h o o l demand i n t e n s i f i e d .  gained a sense of purpose s i n c e the change,  hence i s c u r r e n t l y happier about her academic  life.  and  96  Themes Reported by Two  Participants  Family Two  p a r t i c i p a n t s reported  Miguel's family l i f e because he has  contrasting family  i s nothing  but p o s i t i v e .  by many r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , family.  and  and  In c o n t r a s t , having a f a m i l y  become a major source of s t r e s s f o r Katherine.  her  i s very happy  a great deal of f r e e time with h i s w i f e  have a house to themselves.  for  He  lives.  She  they has  i s exhausted  f e e l s g u i l t y f o r having l i t t l e  In s p i t e of these demands, however,  acknowledged the j o y her daughter b r i n g s  i n t o her  time  Katherine  life.  Future Two  p a r t i c i p a n t s expressed t h e i r concern about the  future.  Lucy i s concerned about the e f f e c t that her d e c i s i o n w i l l have on her c h i l d r e n ' s f u t u r e . be answered, and  There are s e v e r a l questions  t h a t need to  t h i s leads her to f e e l unsure of her  S i m i l a r l y , V i c t o r i a i n d i c a t e d her u n c e r t a i n  future.  f e e l i n g s about  her  future. (C) B e h a v i o u r a l Various  Dynamics  forms of problem-solving  behaviours were  described  by three p a r t i c i p a n t s . Problem-Solving Behaviours Three p a r t i c i p a n t s d e s c r i b e d  that they have t r i e d to improve  current  s i t u a t i o n s by such means as sharing t h e i r f e e l i n g s w i t h  others,  f o c u s i n g on p o s i t i v e aspects of t h e i r l i v e s ,  information,  networking, and  t a c k l e academic  challenges.  collecting  t a k i n g a p r o a c t i v e approach to  97  As the c u r r e n t l i f e  s i t u a t i o n v a r i e s between the  p a r t i c i p a n t s , t h e i r c h a l l e n g e s range from those of an academic nature to those of a f i n a n c i a l nature.  Yet the r e s u l t s  indicate  t h a t they no l o n g e r withdraw from c h a l l e n g e s but d e a l w i t h them actively. she was  For example, Jamie reminded h e r s e l f of the f a c t  that  a capable person r a t h e r than becoming depressed whenever  someone grew impatient with her E n g l i s h .  V i c t o r i a d e c i d e d to  w r i t e an exam d e s p i t e advice from some people not to,  and  accomplished her g o a l .  Ideal Future L i f e The  i d e a l f u t u r e l i v e s were d e s c r i b e d with such words as  happiness, freedom.  l i t t l e worry, f i n a n c i a l r e l i e f ,  relaxing l i f e ,  and  For example, i t i s e s s e n t i a l f o r Lucy to become happy  w i t h h e r s e l f , w h i l e f o r Jamie, i n c o r p o r a t i n g v i r t u e s o f  Canadian  and Chinese c u l t u r e s c o n s t i t u t e s an important p a r t i n her life.  ideal  V i c t o r i a d e s c r i b e d her dream of l i v i n g i n Canada w i t h her  family. Four p a r t i c i p a n t s expressed t h e i r wish f o r happy f a m i l y l i f e in  the f u t u r e .  Three wished  with t h e i r f a m i l i e s . happier family l i f e  to be able to enjoy spending  time  K a t h e r i n e expressed her s t r o n g hope f o r a s i n c e the f i n a n c i a l p r e s s u r e i s c u r r e n t l y so  i n t e n s e and she f e e l s her f a m i l y members are unable t o enjoy o t h e r ' s company.  Two  hoped to have c h i l d r e n and to l i v e  house w i t h t h e i r f a m i l e s i n Canada.  in a  each  98  Some p a r t i c i p a n t s have c e r t a i n wishes f o r other members.  family  Two p a r t i c i p a n t s communicated t h e i r s t r o n g wish f o r  t h e i r spouses t o become p r o f e s s i o n a l s .  For K a t h e r i n e ,  i t not  o n l y means f i n a n c i a l r e l i e f but a l s o a way f o r her husband t o s e l f - a c t u a l i z e himself. he  fulfills  She hopes that he w i l l become h a p p i e r as  h i s academic p o t e n t i a l .  Katherine  a l s o e x p r e s s e d her  s t r o n g wish f o r h e r daughter t o become educated. education One  She f e e l s t h a t  w i l l open many doors f o r her daughter i n the f u t u r e . unique i s s u e emerged i n terms of i d e a l f a m i l y  Miguel r e c o g n i z e d  h i s wife's  uncertain i f his ideal l i f e  life.  needs to a c t u a l i z e h e r s e l f , y e t f e l t c o u l d accommodate such needs.  r e a l i z e s t h a t there may be a gap between h i s i d e a l f u t u r e and h i s wife's  ideal  occupation, and it  three mentioned that they hoped t o f i n d a  A meaningful j o b i s d e s c r i b e d  a work which allows  as a p r o f e s s i o n a l  one to be c r e a t i v e and h e l p f u l ,  a j o b which enabled them to support t h e i r f a m i l y . i s imperative  life  life.  For t h e i r c a r e e r , meaningful j o b .  He  For Lucy,  t h a t she w i l l be able to support h e r f a m i l y ; she  f e e l s that h e r f a m i l y had made a great d e a l o f s a c r i f i c e f o r h e r education,  and hopes t o r e c i p r o c a t e f o r what they have done f o r  her d u r i n g her s c h o o l  years.  V i c t o r i a emphasized h e r wish t o  become a p r o f e s s i o n a l so she can help o t h e r s .  She does n o t want  to have a " r o u t i n e j o b " which she does not f e e l i s s e l f actualizing.  F o r V i c t o r i a , becoming a p r o f e s s i o n a l i s a l s o a  means t o sponsor  family.  99  In c o n t r a s t ,  f o r Miguel, the f u t u r e of h i s c a r e e r  important as that of h i s f a m i l y l i f e . something that needs to be obtained family. life,  I t i s f o r him  living  i s not  as  Miguel sees employment  as  i n order  to p r o v i d e  a means to e s t a b l i s h the i d e a l  i n a house i n Canada and  enjoying  for his  family  spending time  together. Four p a r t i c i p a n t s answered that they needed some more time to a c t u a l i z e t h e i r i d e a l l i v e s .  Other f a c t o r s that  the  p a r t i c i p a n t s t h i n k w i l l help them achieve t h e i r goals employment, support network, academic achievement, language a b i l i t y ,  and  increased  For Lucy, i t i s c r i t i c a l each other  general  improved  knowledge about Canada.  to have a community where people  to achieve t h e i r g o a l s .  only provides  are  encouragement and  help  Lucy f e e l s that community not  support, but  network to enhance one's chance of success.  i t a l s o becomes a In  contrast,  V i c t o r i a sees that i t i s fundamental to o b t a i n permanent r e s i d e n t s t a t u s i n Canada i n order  Results  to b r i n g her  of Sentence Completion  f a m i l y to Canada.  Questionnaire  Responses on the sentence completion q u e s t i o n n a i r e both the i n i t i a l u n c e r t a i n t y about the drawing e x e r c i s e  reflected and  subsequent p o s i t i v e experience the p a r t i c i p a n t s had w i t h drawing (see Appendix P). insecure  about my  anything", life  and  For example, one  drawings because I'm  but r e p o r t e d thoughts.  p a r t i c i p a n t wrote, "I  that i t was  felt  not used to draw  e x c i t i n g to draw about  her  100  Other comments, such as "Drawing about myself makes me r e c a l l my experiences and f e e l i n g s " , i n d i c a t e t h a t the drawing exercise stimulated  t h e i r t h i n k i n g and helped them remember l o s t  f e e l i n g s and f o r g o t t e n events.  This was a l s o shared by another  p a r t i c i p a n t who wrote "Drawing about myself makes me get i n touch w i t h my f e e l i n g s i n a concrete The  drawing e x e r c i s e seemed to help  p a r t i c i p a n t s ' defences. free, to say anything his/her  way". loosen  some  One p a r t i c i p a n t wrote that he/she  about him/herself,  f u t u r e when he/she drew.  his/her  felt  f a m i l y , and  Another p a r t i c i p a n t  reported  t h a t he/she t a l k e d about the most s t r i k i n g t h i n g s when he/she drew.  For others,  i t f a c i l i t a t e d them to view t h e i r  from d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e s ;  experiences  one p a r t i c i p a n t d e s c r i b e d  that  he/she began to see things which he/she d i d not see b e f o r e . Four p a r t i c i p a n t s r e p o r t e d l i v e s was a p l e a s a n t  experience.  that drawing about t h e i r  present  They i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h i s was  because they f e l t p o s i t i v e about t h e i r c u r r e n t  lives.  Similarly,  drawing about the f u t u r e was a p o s i t i v e experience f o r four participants.  I t helped them t o see options  constitutes their ideal lives.  and t o examine what  One p a r t i c i p a n t wrote, "I was  happy to be i n a p o s i t i o n to f e e l that I deserve a b e t t e r future".  Drawing about t h e i r f u t u r e l i v e s enabled some  p a r t i c i p a n t s t o see that the f u t u r e i s open t o them and t h a t t h e i r hard work would bear some  fruit.  On the other hand, some p a r t i c i p a n t s expressed reservations  about u s i n g drawing to d e s c r i b e  their  their experiences.  101  Comments, such as and  " I t ' s d i f f i c u l t to draw f e e l i n g s and  " I t i s hard to r e p r e s e n t dynamics of l i f e on a p i e c e  paper", r e f l e c t the d i f f i c u l t y some p a r t i c i p a n t s had e x p r e s s i n g complex f e e l i n g s and In summary, d e s p i t e participants' generally and  of  about  experiences i n drawing.  their i n i t i a l hesitation,  the  feedback i n d i c a t e d that the drawing a c t i v i t y was  p o s i t i v e experience.  Drawing s t i m u l a t e d  their  exercise eyes.  share t h e i r s t o r i e s .  a l s o enabled some to see  Most p a r t i c i p a n t s  t h e i r future,  and  The  at  drawing  t h e i r experiences w i t h  fresh  f e l t p o s i t i v e about t h e i r c u r r e n t  t h i s was  a  thinking  memory i n some cases, while i n others, i t h e l p e d them f e e l  ease to express themselves and  and  emotions"  lives  r e f l e c t e d i n t h e i r drawings.  Summary While the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' experiences v a r i e d d u r i n g the before school started, lonely, period  they commonly f e l t nervous, f e a r f u l ,  inadequate, i n v i s i b l e ,  situation.  and  issues,  physical  t h e i r experiences d u r i n g the In c o n t r a s t , lives.  participants and  initial  most common c o p i n g  problem-solving actions c o n t r o l over  communication  initial  such the  difficulties,  environment commonly  most p a r t i c i p a n t s  affected  period. f e l t p o s i t i v e toward t h e i r  Themes t h a t emerged as the most common among the  include an  The  to others or to r e g a i n  Interpersonal  s t r u c t u r a l issues,  future,  e x c i t e d d u r i n g the  the p a r t i c i p a n t s was  as t r y i n g to reach out  current  and  of t h e i r s c h o o l l i f e i n Canada.  method used by  period  self-confidence,  increased  uncertainty  about  the  sense of ease with t h e i r l i v e s i n  102  Canada.  Interpersonal  i s s u e s and  academic l i f e were the main  i s s u e s which i n f l u e n c e d t h e i r experiences. reported  t a k i n g problem-solving  Three p a r t i c i p a n t s  s t r a t e g i e s when they f a c e d some  challenges. D e s c r i p t i o n of an i d e a l future l i f e  i n c l u d e d words such as  happy, r e l a x i n g , freedom, a meaningful job, and While there was perceived  general  circumstances.  others.  the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' ideas  another depending on t h e i r  life  For some, being u n i t e d with one's f a m i l y was  most important goal, w h i l e pursuing for  relief.  agreement about what the p a r t i c i p a n t s  as the i d e a l f u t u r e l i f e ,  s l i g h t l y v a r i e d from one  financial  the  a career seemed to weigh more  To r e a l i z e t h e i r dreams, the p a r t i c i p a n t s responded  that they needed time, o p p o r t u n i t i e s , a support network, increased The  knowledge about Canada, and  enhanced E n g l i s h  r e s u l t s of the sentence completion  r e v e a l e d t h a t a l b e i t with some r e s e r v a t i o n s ,  abilities.  questionnaire the p a r t i c i p a n t s  g e n e r a l l y f e l t p o s i t i v e about the drawing e x e r c i s e .  103  Chapter  Five  Discussion Introduction The purpose  of t h i s study was  to e x p l o r e the nature of  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students' experiences through u s i n g a v i s u a l medium (drawings)  and i n t e r v i e w s .  In-depth s e m i - s t r u c t u r e d i n t e r v i e w s  were conducted with f i v e graduate i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t u d e n t s o f the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia  i n Canada.  Three phases of t h e i r  e x p e r i e n c e s i n Canada ( a n t i c i p a t o r y p e r i o d , i n i t i a l p e r i o d , and c u r r e n t l i f e ) were examined as w e l l as what they wished  for their  future. The r e s u l t s y i e l d e d a number of emotional, e x t e r n a l , b e h a v i o u r a l themes i n each of these phases.  While  and  the  commonalties among the p a r t i c i p a n t s emerged as a r e s u l t of q u a l i t a t i v e data a n a l y s i s , each p a r t i c i p a n t ' s s t o r y was terms o f how was  they experienced these themes, and t h i s  i l l u m i n a t e d both i n t h e i r s t o r i e s and i n t h e i r  unique i n  uniqueness  drawings.  Some of the f i n d i n g s from t h i s study are c o n s i s t e n t w i t h p r e v i o u s r e s e a r c h on t r a n s i t i o n and i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t u d e n t s .  In  t h i s chapter, f i n d i n g s of t h i s study are examined i n terms of t h e i r c o n t r i b u t i o n s f o r theory and r e s e a r c h , and  their  i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r c o u n s e l l i n g p r a c t i c e are e x p l o r e d .  Limitations  o f t h i s study and suggestions f o r f u t u r e r e s e a r c h are a l s o addressed.  104  I n t e g r a t i n g Current and Previous Research I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r Adjustment Theory The  r e s u l t s o f the present r e s e a r c h are c o n s i s t e n t w i t h  Schlossberg's  (1981) model of human a d a p t a t i o n t o t r a n s i t i o n .  S c h l o s s b e r g proposed t h a t the f o l l o w i n g t h r e e types o f v a r i a b l e s a f f e c t an i n d i v i d u a l ' s adjustment p r o c e s s : c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the particular transition,  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the p r e and post  t r a n s i t i o n environments, and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the i n d i v i d u a l . A c c o r d i n g to Schlossberg, the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f most t r a n s i t i o n s can be d e s c r i b e d by f a c t o r s such as t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s p e r c e p t i o n o f r o l e change, a f f e c t , and s t r e s s . demonstrated the presence  of these v a r i a b l e s .  The c u r r e n t A l l the  p a r t i c i p a n t s i n d i c a t e d that both p o s i t i v e and n e g a t i v e i n f l u e n c e d t h e i r experiences.  study  emotions  Furthermore, the r e s u l t s  t h a t t h e i r f e e l i n g s were the r e s u l t o f p a r t i c u l a r  transitional  events as w e l l as a source t o shape f u r t h e r e x p e r i e n c e s . i n c i d e n t s l e d some p a r t i c i p a n t s to f e e l anxious,  suggest  Certain  and t h i s a n x i e t y  a f f e c t e d how they viewed themselves and the world around them. Also,  s e v e r a l p a r t i c i p a n t s r e p o r t e d a p e r c e p t i o n o f r o l e change.  For example, V i c t o r i a f e l t that her s t a t u s had suddenly  fallen  from a c o m p e t i t i v e student to a " s t u p i d one", whereas K a t h e r i n e p e r c e i v e d h e r husband's i d e n t i t y had d r a s t i c a l l y changed s i n c e coming t o Canada. The  c u r r e n t study a l s o recognized S c h l o s s b e r g ' s  second  c a t e g o r y o f moderators, the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f p r e and post t r a n s i t i o n environments.  These environments a r e understood i n  105  terms o f t h e i r support system and p h y s i c a l s e t t i n g s , and  the  e f f e c t s of these f a c t o r s were evident i n the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' accounts.  For example, s e v e r a l p a r t i c i p a n t s r e p o r t e d t h a t the  p h y s i c a l s e t t i n g , p a r t i c u l a r l y the c o l d c l i m a t e o f Vancouver, a f f e c t e d t h e i r moods d u r i n g t h e i r i n i t i a l p e r i o d . In terms of s o c i a l support, of  S c h l o s s b e r g suggests  support: p e r s o n a l and i n s t i t u t i o n a l .  two  In t h i s study,  types  the  p a r t i c i p a n t s r e v e a l e d t h a t f r i e n d s h i p s w i t h both c o - n a t i o n a l s and h o s t - n a t i o n a l s enabled them to cope with the t r a n s i t i o n w h i l e a l o s s of a p r e v i o u s support system had a damaging e f f e c t , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the i n i t i a l p e r i o d . A l s o , the present study shed l i g h t on the importance of r e l a t i o n s h i p s with other i n t e r n a t i o n a l students. r e s e a r c h such as that of Heikinheimo and Shute  While p r e v i o u s  (1986) tended  to  focus on the p o s i t i v e aspect of s o j o u r n e r - h o s t n a t i o n a l c o n t a c t s , the r e s u l t s from t h i s study i n d i c a t e d t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p s  with  other i n t e r n a t i o n a l students were a l s o important mediators adjustment. relief  of  While s e v e r a l p a r t i c i p a n t s d e s c r i b e d t h e i r sense of  at the s i g h t of c o - n a t i o n a l s i n s c h o o l , they a l s o r e p o r t e d  t h a t they f e l t a sense of s h a r i n g the same s t r u g g l e w i t h  other  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students.  feelings  of  T h i s sense r e l i e v e d a n x i e t y and  i s o l a t i o n f o r some p a r t i c i p a n t s . In c o n t r a s t , none o f the p a r t i c i p a n t s r e p o r t e d t o have  sought i n s t i t u t i o n a l support.  While there was  a resource  f a c i l i t y on campus f o r i n t e r n a t i o n a l students, none o f the p a r t i c i p a n t s u t i l i z e d t h i s f a c i l i t y during t h e i r struggles.  This  106  may be because i n t e r n a t i o n a l students a r e l i k e l y t o be l e f t uninformed  o f s e r v i c e s on campus as M i g u e l suggested  i n the  i n t e r v i e w , and/or due to i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t u d e n t s ' tendency seek p r o f e s s i o n a l help as some r e s e a r c h e r s have (Toffoli & Allan, Finally,  t o not  suggested  1992; Wehrly, 1986; Westwood & Ishiyama,  1990).  f i n d i n g s from t h i s study i d e n t i f i e d the t h i r d  c a t e g o r y o f mediators o f the i n d i v i d u a l ,  suggested by S c h l o s s b e r g ,  characteristics  such as age, gender, v a l u e s , e t h n i c i t y , and  p s y c h o l o g i c a l competence.  Some p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h i s  study  i n d i c a t e d having experienced value c o n f l i c t s .  For example, Lucy  found i n d i v i d u a l i s m i n North America d i f f i c u l t  to deal with  because she came from a more community-oriented  culture.  Jamie  r e p o r t e d f e e l i n g " i n between c u l t u r e s " because o f v a l u e d i f f e r e n c e s between her homeland and Canadian c u l t u r e s . S i m i l a r l y , p s y c h o l o g i c a l competence was e v i d e n t i n the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' accounts.  On s e v e r a l o c c a s i o n s , the p a r t i c i p a n t s  took an a c t i v e problem-solving approach;  the p a r t i c i p a n t s  approached Canadians and c o - n a t i o n a l s i n hopes o f b u i l d i n g a new support network while a t other times they s t u d i e d h a r d t o overcome t h e i r language l i m i t a t i o n s . S c h l o s s b e r g suggests t h a t a d a p t a t i o n o c c u r s when an i n d i v i d u a l moves from being preoccupied w i t h the t r a n s i t i o n to integrating i t into his/her l i f e .  The c u r r e n t study  indicated  t h a t the p a r t i c i p a n t s had i n t e g r a t e d the change i n t h e i r They commonly r e p o r t e d that they were c o m f o r t a b l e w i t h  lives.  their  p r e s e n t l i v e s i n Canada, and had gained s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e as a  107  r e s u l t of the t r a n s i t i o n a l experience. emphasized felt  a sense of normalness.  Some p a r t i c i p a n t s  V i c t o r i a described that  she  " j u s t l i k e Canadians" whereas Jamie drew h e r s e l f i n the same  s i z e and c o l o u r s as Canadians to s i g n i f y her f e e l i n g o f b e i n g normal and same as Canadians. The study a l s o found o t h e r mediators t h a t were suggested by other r e s e a r c h e r s .  Ward and Kennedy (1993a) proposed t h a t an  i n d i v i d u a l ' s language a b i l i t y a f f e c t s h i s / h e r  sociocultural  a d a p t a t i o n which i n t u r n p r e d i c t s p s y c h o l o g i c a l adjustment. r e s u l t s o f t h i s study supported t h i s n o t i o n .  The  A l l the  p a r t i c i p a n t s r e p o r t e d language as a major c h a l l e n g e , and some i n d i c a t e d t h a t a l a c k o f language s k i l l s l e d them t o f e e l " f o r e i g n " and " d i f f e r e n t " .  This f e e l i n g o f b e i n g d i f f e r e n t  may  have a f f e c t e d t h e i r p s y c h o l o g i c a l w e l l - b e i n g , c a u s i n g them to feel isolated,  inadequate, nervous, and i n v i s i b l e .  However,  o t h e r f a c t o r s such as c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s and p e r s o n a l i t y f a c t o r s may  have a l s o c o n t r i b u t e d to t h e i r sense o f b e i n g  different.  Thus, the r e l a t i o n s h i p between language  sociocultural,  and p s y c h o l o g i c a l adjustment may  ability,  have been  i n t e r f e r e d w i t h or i n t e n s i f i e d by other v a r i a b l e s . While p r e v i o u s r e s e a r c h t y p i c a l l y i n d i c a t e s the advantage o f having language s k i l l s i n the sojourner's adjustment p r o c e s s (e.g. Ward & Kennedy, 1993a; Kagan & Cohen, 1990), the f i n d i n g s from t h i s s t u d y i l l u s t r a t e one p o s i t i v e aspect from not h a v i n g enough language a b i l i t y ;  the i n i t i a l  l a c k o f language  ability  c o n t r i b u t e d to a subsequent greater sense of s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e .  108  Several  p a r t i c i p a n t s reported  limitation,  that because of t h e i r language  academic success had more s i g n i f i c a n t meaning f o r  them than i t would have i f E n g l i s h was  t h e i r native  language.  That i s , they r e a l i z e d that they c o u l d compete w e l l n a t i v e E n g l i s h speakers d e s p i t e t h e i r self-confidence Ward and  was  Searle  t h e i r language handicap,  elevated  and  s i g n i f i c a n t l y as a r e s u l t .  (1991) suggest t h a t c u l t u r a l knowledge  influences  one's s o c i o c u l t u r a l adaptation, and  consistent  with the r e s u l t s of t h i s study.  this  Several  i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h e i r knowledge about Canada had first  against  a r r i v i n g here, and  t h i s had  was participants  increased  since  l e d them to f e e l more  c o m f o r t a b l e with t h e i r l i v e s i n Canada. Concerns and The research  Feelings  current  Students  study supports some of the  regarding  Heikinheimo and  of I n t e r n a t i o n a l  f i n d i n g s of previous  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students' major c o n c e r n s .  Shute  (1986) conducted a q u a l i t a t i v e study which  i n d i c a t e d t h a t i n t e r n a t i o n a l students were p r i m a r i l y concerned w i t h language, academic i s s u e s , discrimination,  and  cultural differences,  racial  s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n s w i t h Canadians.  A l l of  these themes except r a c i a l d i s c r i m i n a t i o n were i d e n t i f i e d i n the p r e s e n t study.  For example, a l l the p a r t i c i p a n t s f a c e d  language b a r r i e r and  interpersonal  a l s o suggest language as a key (e.g.  issues.  While o t h e r  a studies  i s s u e f o r i n t e r n a t i o n a l students  Deressa & Beavers, 1988), the r e s u l t s of t h i s study  i n d i c a t e t h a t language s k i l l s not o n l y a f f e c t the  participants'  109  e f f i c i e n c y to communicate but a l s o t h e i r s e l f - c o n c e p t , f e e l i n g s of  isolation,  and academic confidence.  S i m i l a r to the r e s u l t s of Heikinheimo and Shute's (1986),  study  both p o s i t i v e and negative aspects of c u l t u r a l  d i f f e r e n c e s were r e c o g n i z e d .  C u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s posed a  b a r r i e r to connect with Canadians while they were a l s o seen as i n t e r e s t i n g and e x c i t i n g . by the way i t was was  Jamie r e p o r t e d t h a t she was  fascinated  i n s t r u c t o r s and students i n t e r a c t e d i n Canada because  v e r y d i f f e r e n t from that i n China, whereas Lucy f e l t i t  difficult  to bond with Canadians because Canadians were  i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c and seemed to avoid c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p s . P r e v i o u s r e s e a r c h a l s o recognized f i n a n c e s as a major concern 1988;  f o r i n t e r n a t i o n a l students,  (e.g. Deressa  &  Beavers,  Parr et a l , 1992), but the f i n d i n g s of t h i s study  suggest  t h a t the i s s u e o f f i n a n c e s weighed more i n the p a r t i c i p a n t ' s p r e s e n t l i v e s than i t d i d during the i n i t i a l p e r i o d o f b e i n g i n Canada.  While the reasons  f o r t h i s i s u n c l e a r , i t may  the p a r t i c i p a n t s had numerous other concerns t h e i r new  when t h e y  be t h a t started  l i v e s i n Canada whereas f i n a n c e s emerged as a s a l i e n t  i s s u e as they r e s o l v e d other adjustment i s s u e s .  Other i s s u e s  i d e n t i f i e d i n t h i s study i n c l u d e f a m i l y i n t h e i r homelands and u n c e r t a i n t y about t h e i r f u t u r e . R e s u l t s of the c u r r e n t study i d e n t i f i e d f e e l i n g s  and  emotions t h a t p r e v i o u s r e s e a r c h suggest to be common among i n t e r n a t i o n a l students.  These emotions i n c l u d e homesickness,  l o n e l i n e s s , a n x i e t y , and  depression.  110  Lu  (1990) explored emotional experiences of  international  students i n B r i t a i n by a d m i n i s t e r i n g q u e s t i o n n a i r e s w i t h i n two weeks of t h e i r a r r i v a l and two months a f t e r the a r r i v a l . r e s u l t was  The  s t r i k i n g ; more than 90% of p a r t i c i p a n t s r e p o r t e d  homesickness at both times.  While Lu suggests  t h a t homesickness  remains s t a b l e and l a s t i n g , the c u r r e n t study c o n t r a d i c t e d t h i s f i n d i n g ; o n l y two p a r t i c i p a n t s r e p o r t e d homesickness which d i s s i p a t e d over time.  The d i f f e r e n c e may  of d u r a t i o n between Lu's the second  stem from a d i f f e r e n c e  study and t h i s study.  q u e s t i o n n a i r e was  In Lu's  study,  administered two months a f t e r  their  a r r i v a l w h i l e a l l the p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h i s study a r r i v e d i n Canada at l e a s t s i x months p r i o r to the i n t e r v i e w .  Thus, the  r e s u l t s o f t h i s study suggest t h a t the homesickness of i n t e r n a t i o n a l students may  be r e l i e v e d w i t h time, a l b e i t s l o w l y .  The p r e s e n t study a l s o supported p r e v i o u s r e s e a r c h t h a t found l o n e l i n e s s as a common emotion among i n t e r n a t i o n a l students.  Hsu  et a l (1987) conducted  a study to examine the  frequency o f l o n e l i n e s s among 131 Chinese students i n America. Hsu  et a l found that i n t e r n a t i o n a l students were more s o c i a l l y  l o n e l y than t h e i r American c o u n t e r p a r t s . Hsu  Based on t h i s  et a l conclude t h a t l o n e l i n e s s of i n t e r n a t i o n a l  result,  students  stems from s o c i a l a l i e n a t i o n r a t h e r than from a l a c k o f c l o s e emotional  attachments.  The d e s c r i p t i o n s of the p a r t i c i p a n t s  supported t h i s f i n d i n g ; four p a r t i c i p a n t s r e p o r t e d h a v i n g e x p e r i e n c e d l o n e l i n e s s but t h e i r accounts  indicated that their  f e e l i n g s of l o n e l i n e s s were more to do w i t h f e e l i n g s o f being  Ill  d i f f e r e n t and a l a c k of sense of b e l o n g i n g . a l i e n a t i o n was  p o r t r a y e d p a r t i c u l a r l y i n Jamie's drawing where  everyone e l s e was drawn i n gray, invisible.  A sense of  drawn c o l o u r f u l l y while o n l y her  and i n Lucy's account t h a t she  Thus, these r e s u l t s confirmed  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students'  l o n e l i n e s s may  felt  Lu's  figure  was  f o r e i g n and  c o n c l u s i o n that  be more the r e s u l t  of  social factors. All  the p a r t i c i p a n t s reported f e e l i n g s of nervousness  anxiety,  and  t h i s was  Pedersen  (1991) suggests that a n x i e t y occurs  l o s i n g previous  c o n s i s t e n t with p r e v i o u s  support  and  research.  as a r e s u l t  of  systems and t h a t i t s m a n i f e s t a t i o n  ranges  from m i l d annoyance to f e e l i n g s of p a n i c and d i s o r i e n t a t i o n . the c u r r e n t study,  three p a r t i c i p a n t s r e s o r t e d to withdrawing  because o f t h e i r a n x i e t y .  Several p a r t i c i p a n t s a l s o i n d i c a t e d  t h a t they were always t i r e d because of t h e i r  anxiety.  A l t h o u g h s e v e r a l researchers contend t h a t d e p r e s s i o n p r e v a l e n t among i n t e r n a t i o n a l students  is  (e.g. Pedersen,  1991;  Cadieux & Wehrly, 1986), only two p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h i s  study  v o i c e d such f e e l i n g s . i d e n t i f i e d two previous  invisible,  In c o n t r a s t to t h i s ,  f e e l i n g s of inadequacy and  study  f e e l i n g s of  Four p a r t i c i p a n t s d e s c r i b e d f e e l i n g inadequate  and t h i s a f f e c t e d v a r i o u s aspects  i n c l u d i n g academic performance and Cadieux and Wehrly tasks and  the c u r r e n t  common f e e l i n g s t h a t were r a r e l y addressed i n  research:  invisibility.  In  of t h e i r  and  lives  interpersonal relationships.  (1986) suggest t h a t f a c i n g u n f a m i l i a r academic  the competitive  nature  at school i s l i k e l y to l e a d  112  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students to f e e l depressed, angry,  and  helpless.  Three p a r t i c i p a n t s r e p o r t e d f a c i n g such c h a l l e n g e s but d e s c r i b e d t h e i r f e e l i n g s as f e e l i n g inadequate and i n v i s i b l e r a t h e r than b e i n g depressed.  F u r t h e r i n v e s t i g a t i o n i s needed to c l a r i f y the  d i f f e r e n c e and r e l a t i o n s h i p among depression, f e e l i n g s of inadequacy,  and f e e l i n g s of i n v i s i b i l i t y .  f e e l i n g s of inadequacy and i n v i s i b i l i t y d e p r e s s i o n or they are the i n i t i a l  I t may  be  that  are components of  r e a c t i o n s which l e a d to  depression. Coping S t r a t e g i e s of I n t e r n a t i o n a l  Students  While p r e v i o u s r e s e a r c h o f t e n e x p l o r e s f a c t o r s t h a t the adjustment  process of i n t e r n a t i o n a l students and  their  concerns and f e e l i n g s d u r i n g that process, few s t u d i e s coping s t r a t e g i e s .  As a r e s u l t ,  affect  address  i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t u d e n t s are o f t e n  p o r t r a y e d as p a s s i v e , h e l p l e s s , and d e f e n s e l e s s (Pedersen, Research t h a t focuses on how  to help these students o f t e n  i n t o the same t r a p of assuming them to be mere h e l p e e s . c o n t r a s t to t h i s n o t i o n , however, the c u r r e n t study i n t e r n a t i o n a l students to be a c t i v e agents who  1991). falls  In  found  t r i e d to remedy  t h e i r s i t u a t i o n s more o f t e n than they r e s o r t e d to w i t h d r a w a l . Four p a r t i c i p a n t s t r i e d some s o r t of p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g s t r a t e g y d u r i n g the p e r i o d when adjustment intense.  c h a l l e n g e s were most  These s t r a t e g i e s i n c l u d e d t a k i n g i n i t i a t i v e s i n  approaching o t h e r s to r e l i e v e a sense of i s o l a t i o n ,  asserting  p r i o r i t i e s to people around them, and s t u d y i n g textbooks t h o r o u g h l y to compensate f o r t h e i r l i m i t e d  listening  113  comprehension.  One  p a r t i c i p a n t c o n s c i o u s l y t r i e d to change her  a t t i t u d e s and to take a p r o a c t i v e approach i n o r d e r to overcome challenges.  Others, d e s p i t e repeated p e r c e i v e d f a i l u r e ,  g i v e up and kept on approaching others u n t i l r e l a t i o n s h i p s began to blossom.  While  meaningful  the p a r t i c i p a n t s sometimes  withdrew from t h e i r s i t u a t i o n s , t h i s may c o n s e r v i n g mental and p h y s i c a l energy  finally  d i d not  a l s o be a way  of  i n order to cope w i t h  f u r t h e r c h a l l e n g e s as one p a r t i c i p a n t i n d i c a t e d d u r i n g the interview.  These r e s u l t s suggest t h a t i n t e r n a t i o n a l  p l a y a c t i v e r o l e s i n t h e i r adjustment helpless,  students  process r a t h e r than b e i n g  and use t h e i r resources to cope w i t h t h e i r s t r u g g l e s .  Use o f Drawings w i t h I n t e r n a t i o n a l Students The  c u r r e n t study demonstrated s e v e r a l advantages  and  l i m i t a t i o n s of u s i n g drawings with i n t e r n a t i o n a l students t h a t were suggested by p r e v i o u s r e s e a r c h .  For example, Amundson  (1988) p o i n t s out t h a t drawing p r o v i d e s a means f o r c o n c r e t e c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n , and the feedback  o f the p a r t i c i p a n t s  case  suggests  t h a t drawings helped them to r e c a l l l o s t memories and c o n c e p t u a l i z e them i n a concrete way.  The  researcher's  i m p r e s s i o n a l s o confirmed t h i s ; from the i n t e r v i e w e r ' s p o i n t of view, I f e l t  the drawings helped me  to understand  the  p a r t i c i p a n t s ' experiences with more c o n f i d e n c e because of additional visual  clues.  Drawings a l s o f u n c t i o n e d as a s h a r i n g p o i n t f o r d i s c u s s i o n s i n the p r e s e n t study.  Moody (1995) conducted  a f i e l d observation  study on an Indian r e s e r v a t i o n , and r e p o r t e d t h a t v i s u a l a r t  114  f a c i l i t a t e d mutual understanding between the t h e r a p i s t clients,  and  and helped them transcend c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s .  The  p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h i s study i n d i c a t e d that drawings enabled them to  t a l k f r e e l y about  themselves,  and I a l s o sensed t h a t drawings  f a c i l i t a t e d the sense of s h a r i n g .  Drawing h e l p e d t o assure t h a t  both the p a r t i c i p a n t s and the r e s e a r c h e r were t a l k i n g from common ground.  In t h i s way,  misunderstandings In  drawings became a map  to reduce  as w e l l as a guide f o r f u r t h e r  discussions.  terms of i t s l i m i t a t i o n s , t h i s study a l s o  Amundson's  (1988) suggestion that drawing  the r i s k of  confirmed  e x e r c i s e s may  n e g a t i v e responses such as h e s i t a t i o n and f e a r .  The  g e n e r a l l y show h e s i t a t i o n before s t a r t i n g to draw.  participants One  p a r t i c i p a n t p a r t i c u l a r l y expressed her d i s c o m f o r t about her l i f e  experiences while others found i t d i f f i c u l t  f e e l i n g s and the dynamics of t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s .  drawing  t o draw  However, the  p o s i t i v e feedback a f t e r the drawing e x e r c i s e i n d i c a t e s importance  evoke  the  o f p r o v i d i n g encouragement and r e a s s u r a n c e i n the  b e g i n n i n g so as to h e l p p a r t i c i p a n t s overcome t h e i r i n i t i a l P r a c t i c a l Implications f o r Helping International  fear.  Students  A p r a c t i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n of the r e s u l t s of t h i s study i s that i n t e r n a t i o n a l students are l i k e l y to b e n e f i t from i n t e r v e n t i o n s p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the f i r s t f e e l nervous,  fearful,  counselling  p e r i o d when they tend to  l o n e l y , and inadequate.  found t h a t support of c o - n a t i o n a l s and f e l l o w  S i n c e the  results  international  students eased the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' s t r e s s , i t would be  beneficial  i f c e n t r e s f o r i n t e r n a t i o n a l students o r g a n i z e support groups and  115  advertise  them w i d e l y on campus so that i n t e r n a t i o n a l students i n  d i f f e r e n t academic programmes would have the o p p o r t u n i t i e s meet one  another and  to form a community.  e s p e c i a l l y e f f e c t i v e considering i n t e r n a t i o n a l students to not  to  T h i s approach may  be  the g e n e r a l tendency of  seek p r o f e s s i o n a l h e l p  (Cadieux &  Wehrly,. 198 6) . Another i m p l i c a t i o n i s that e f f o r t should be made to facilitate  i n t e r a c t i o n s between host n a t i o n a l s  and  international  students to a l l e v i a t e i n t e r n a t i o n a l students' sense of alienation.  Westwood and Barker  of such i n t e r a c t i o n s by  benefit  f i n d i n g a p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n between  c o n t a c t s w i t h host n a t i o n a l s between such c o n t a c t s and Several  (1990) demonstrated the  and  academic success and  lower r a t e s of dropping out  also of  school.  p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h i s study i n d i c a t e d t h a t they were  presently  comfortable with t h e i r l i v e s i n Canada and  p e r c e p t i o n s had  that  their  changed from f e e l i n g d i f f e r e n t from Canadians to  f e e l i n g the same as Canadians. between host n a t i o n a l s  and  Thus, i f p o s i t i v e  interactions  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students can  be  facilitated,  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students' sense of b e i n g f o r e i g n  be  Host n a t i o n a l s who  reduced.  endeavours s h o u l d be  would p a r t i c i p a t e i n these  t r a i n e d i n c u l t u r a l s e n s i t i v i t y and  c u l t u r a l communication, since some s t u d i e s 1992,  1994)  cross-  (e.g. Ward & Kennedy,  suggest that such i n t e r a c t i o n s can be harmful to  s o j o u r n e r s i f the proper p r e c a u t i o n s are not An  may  important i m p l i c a t i o n f o r c o u n s e l l o r s  taken. who  work w i t h  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students i s to recognize the h e t e r o g e n e i t y of these  116  students.  Although  the r e s u l t s o f t h i s study found common themes  i n t h e i r experiences, the p a r t i c i p a n t s d i f f e r e d i n the way they e x p e r i e n c e d these themes.  For example, Lucy f e l t  a l i e n a t e d when  she i n t r o d u c e d h e r s e l f i n the c l a s s and r e c e i v e d no response, whereas Jamie f e l t the same f e e l i n g when she saw a group o f Canadians t a l k i n g h a p p i l y with one another.  The danger o f  s t e r e o t y p i n g i n t e r n a t i o n a l students i s emphasized by  Pedersen  (1991) who a s s e r t s that there i s as much d i f f e r e n c e between any two  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students as between e i t h e r o f them and a host  national.  Thus, while i t i s e s s e n t i a l to be aware o f i s s u e s  commonly f a c e d by i n t e r n a t i o n a l students, c o u n s e l l o r s should t r e a t each i n t e r n a t i o n a l student as unique Similarly,  and i n d i v i d u a l .  c o u n s e l l o r s should t r e a t i n t e r n a t i o n a l  students  as a capable and a c t i v e agent of t h e i r own l i v e s i n s t e a d o f s e e i n g them as d e f e n s e l e s s i n d i v i d u a l s b e i n g c o n f r o n t e d by harsh adjustment  demands.  While c r o s s - c u l t u r a l t r a n s i t i o n s o f t e n cause  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students to f e e l anxious,  fearful,  and l o n e l y , the  r e s u l t s o f t h i s study i n d i c a t e d that they a c t i v e l y sought remedy t h e i r s i t u a t i o n s .  As Wehrly  (1988) suggests,  ways to  the courage  to l e a v e one's homeland to pursue goals i n a f o r e i g n environment i s i n i t s e l f a strength.  Therefore, f o c u s i n g on t h e i r s t r e n g t h s  w h i l e f u l l y a p p r e c i a t i n g t h e i r s t r u g g l e s w i l l reduce  a r i s k of  having these students f e e l p a t r o n i z e d and consequently empower them to move Finally,  will  forward.  t h i s study's use o f drawings has v a l u a b l e  i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r those who work with i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t u d e n t s .  The  117  study demonstrated s e v e r a l  advantages of drawing as  a  communication t o o l ; i t was  generally  the  participants well  beneficial for  to have t h e i r drawings as a b a s i s  of d i s c u s s i o n  as a form of a d d i t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n f o r the  Because c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s  as  researcher.  can become a f e r t i l e  ground f o r  misunderstanding, having a v i s u a l clue i n f r o n t of both  client  and  relieve  counsellor  may  reduce such r i s k .  Drawings a l s o may  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students' a n x i e t y about t a l k i n g about themselves to a counsellor, describing  several  and  Implications  reasons.  First,  form of  (from l a t e 20s since  to mid  taken w i t h c a u t i o n  the homogeneity of the  taken i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n .  graduate students of the  may  take the  f o r Future Research  r e s u l t s of t h i s study must be  should be  Also,  c o n v e r s a t i o n can  t h e i r drawings.  Limitations The  because the  and  participants  A l l the p a r t i c i p a n t s were  same u n i v e r s i t y ,  30s),  for  o n l y one  t h e i r ages were s i m i l a r p a r t i c i p a n t was  a male.  they v o l u n t e e r e d to p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s study, they  possess c e r t a i n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s such as openness to  about themselves.  Thus, i t i s u n c e r t a i n  talk  as to what e x t e n t t h e i r  e x p e r i e n c e s r e p r e s e n t i n t e r n a t i o n a l students' e x p e r i e n c e s i n general.  A small sample s i z e a l s o c o n t r i b u t e s  to  this  uncertainty. Secondly, a q u e s t i o n remains as to what e x t e n t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the researcher i n f l u e n c e d and  analysis.  Although data a n a l y s i s was  c e r t a i n a t t r i b u t e s of the  researcher may  the  the d a t a c o l l e c t i o n  validated  twice,  have a f f e c t e d  the  way  118  the data was handled.  One such a t t r i b u t e was the f a c t t h a t I was  an i n t e r n a t i o n a l student myself.  While b e i n g an i n t e r n a t i o n a l  student p r o v i d e d me with s e v e r a l advantages such as a sense o f s h a r i n g the same s t r u g g l e , my own experience as an i n t e r n a t i o n a l student may have a f f e c t e d the s e l e c t i o n o f q u e s t i o n s d u r i n g the i n t e r v i e w s , the manner i n which I f a c i l i t a t e d the i n t e r v i e w s , and the way I i n t e r p r e t e d the p a r t i c i p a n t s '  accounts.  Other a t t r i b u t e s that may have impacted b e l i e f s and assumptions.  One such assumption  the study were my i s t h a t most  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students face c h a l l e n g e s when they come abroad t o study.  While  the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' accounts confirmed t h i s ,  there i s  a p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t the p a r t i c i p a n t s sensed such an assumption and may have t r i e d ,  c o n s c i o u s l y or u n c o n s c i o u s l y , t o a s c e r t a i n i t by  s e l e c t i v e l y r e l a t i n g t h e i r experiences t o the r e s e a r c h e r . F i n a l l y , my b e l i e f that a r t can be an e f f e c t i v e t o o l to understand  an i n d i v i d u a l ' s experience may have a f f e c t e d the way  the p a r t i c i p a n t s drew and answered the sentence q u e s t i o n n a i r e s , and the manner i n which I f a c i l i t a t e d the i n t e r v i e w s .  Although  t h e r e was an advantage i n having experience w i t h u s i n g drawing i n c o u n s e l l i n g and i n b e i n g f a m i l i a r with drawing m a t e r i a l s , t h i s background may have i n f l u e n c e d both myself as a r e s e a r c h e r and the p a r t i c i p a n t s . C o n s i d e r i n g these l i m i t a t i o n s ,  future r e p l i c a t i o n s of t h i s  study a r e needed to b u i l d a body o f r e s e a r c h t o f u r t h e r examine the u s e f u l n e s s o f drawings with t h i s p o p u l a t i o n and t o deepen our u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the processes i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t u d e n t s go through.  119  Future s t u d i e s can focus on one  e t h n i c group i n o r d e r to  i n v e s t i g a t e c u l t u r a l i n f l u e n c e s on the s o j o u r n e r ' s adjustment process. Comparative s t u d i e s may understanding  provide f u r t h e r i n s i g h t into  of i n t e r n a t i o n a l students' e x p e r i e n c e s .  example, s t u d i e s can be conducted i n drawings between two  e t h n i c groups.  s t u d e n t s and those faced by graduate  Future r e s e a r c h a l s o  international  students, d i f f e r e n t developmental I t may  students.  i s s u e s may  than interact  a l s o be u s e f u l to  compare male and female i n t e r n a t i o n a l students. i n t e r n a t i o n a l students may  may  international  Because undergraduate students are t y p i c a l l y younger  w i t h t h e i r adjustment processes.  For  to compare the i s s u e s s u r f a c i n g  compare the c h a l l e n g e s faced by undergraduate  graduate  our  Some  be from a s o c i e t y where gender r o l e s  and r o l e e x p e c t a t i o n s are v a s t l y d i f f e r e n t from those  i n North  America, and t h e r e f o r e , female and male i n t e r n a t i o n a l  students  may  f a c e d i f f e r e n t adjustment tasks and experience  processes  the adjustment  differently.  C o n s i d e r i n g the d i f f i c u l t y some p a r t i c i p a n t s had drawing t h e i r g e n e r a l adjustment experiences, adopt a c r i t i c a l  with  future studies  i n c i d e n t method proposed by Flanagan  may  (1954) and  have p a r t i c i p a n t s focus t h e i r drawings on the i n c i d e n t which they feel c r i t i c a l  i n t h e i r adjustment p r o c e s s e s .  Doing t h i s  may  p r o v i d e p a r t i c i p a n t s with more s t r u c t u r e , and reduce the p o s s i b i l i t y of having them wonder what they are supposed to do. I t may  a l s o r e l i e v e t h e i r discomfort and a n x i e t y , as drawing a  120  s p e c i f i c i n c i d e n t i s probably l e s s overwhelming than drawing g e n e r a l f e e l i n g s or l i f e Finally,  f u t u r e r e s e a r c h w i l l b e n e f i t from a l a r g e r number  of p a r t i c i p a n t s . adjustment  experiences.  L o n g i t u d i n a l s t u d i e s to f o l l o w the course of  w i t h drawings w i l l a l s o add a v a l u a b l e understanding  to our knowledge of i n t e r n a t i o n a l students' e x p e r i e n c e s . Conclusion T h i s study presented the f i n d i n g s from the d e s c r i p t i v e of i n t e r n a t i o n a l students' experiences. study was  study  The purpose of t h i s  to e x p l o r e and d e s c r i b e the experiences of  i n t e r n a t i o n a l students through drawings and i n - d e p t h i n t e r v i e w s . The  study u t i l i z e d the drawing e x e r c i s e s to i n v e s t i g a t e  p a r t i c i p a n t s ' courses of adjustment period t i l l  t h e i r present l i v e s .  process from the  the  anticipation  T h e i r wishes f o r t h e i r f u t u r e  were a l s o e x p l o r e d . Study r e s u l t s r e v e a l e d three dynamics i n t h e i r  experiences  (emotional, e x t e r n a l , and behavioural) and a number of. common themes.  The p e r i o d d u r i n g which the p a r t i c i p a n t s s t r u g g l e d to  a d j u s t t o a new nervousness,  c u l t u r e was  c h a r a c t e r i z e d by such emotions as  fear, loneliness,  of i n v i s i b i l i t y ,  f e e l i n g s of inadequacy,  and excitement.  d e s c r i b e d i n a way  feelings  The p r e s e n t l i v e s were  to s i g n i f y a s i g n of a d a p t a t i o n .  The  p a r t i c i p a n t s ' s u b j e c t i v e experiences were v i s u a l l y d e p i c t e d i n t h e i r drawings,  and the drawing e x e r c i s e s g e n e r a l l y p r o v i d e d  p o s i t i v e experiences to the p a r t i c i p a n t s .  121  While many of the themes emerged i n t h i s study findings  of p r e v i o u s research, the study added a v a l u a b l e element  to the understanding  of these students' experiences by  v i s u a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s of t h e i r experiences t o l d from t h e i r frames of r e f e r e n c e . i n the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' struggles,  The  r i c h n e s s of i n f o r m a t i o n  s t o r i e s and t h e i r drawings shed l i g h t on  investigation  t h e i r goals.  students,  the  and  serves to enable h e l p i n g p r o f e s s i o n a l s to g a i n  i n s i g h t about these students' experiences.  international  utilizing  and s t o r i e s t h a t were  s t r e n g t h s , and hopes of i n t e r n a t i o n a l  consequently  further  confirmed  The  results  encourage  to explore c e r t a i n ways to h e l p  students cope with t h e i r t r a n s i t i o n s and  actualize  122  References Adan, A. 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P s y c h o l o g i c a l a d a p t a t i o n o f Chinese sojourners i n Canada. I n t e r n a t i o n a l J o u r n a l o f Psychology, 26, 451-470.  130  APPENDIX  B  Guided Imagery Scripts Guided Imagery 1- My F i r s t Day a t a Canadian School Make sure you are i n the r e l a x e d p o s i t i o n . Now c l o s e your eyes and t r y t o r e l a x your whole body. N o t i c e any p a r t t h a t i s tense and t r y t o r e l a x i t . Take a deep breath, h o l d i t , and then exhale s l o w l y . While you are e x h a l i n g , r e l a x your body from head to t o e . T r y to imagine you can see your muscles r e l a x i n g as you focus on your body. You f e e l very c o m f o r t a b l e now. You see n o t h i n g i n t h i s room or anywhere around you. A l l you can see r i g h t now i s i n your mind. Take three or f o u r v e r y l o n g and deep b r e a t h s . As you i n h a l e , take i n t o your body r e l a x a t i o n , and as you exhale, l e t go of any t e n s i o n you might have i n your body. In... and out. In... and out. Now t h i n k about your f i r s t day i n Canadian s c h o o l . What was your f i r s t day l i k e i n Canadian s c h o o l ? Remember the f i r s t time you went to school i n Canada. What time d i d you wake up? How d i d you f e e l when you woke up? Were you e x c i t e d ? Nervous? Or scared. . . What d i d you do to prepare? D i d you have breakfast? D i d you t a l k or eat s i l e n t l y . . . What d i d you do a f t e r breakfast? Did you t a l k or eat s i l e n t l y . . . What d i d you a f t e r b r e a k f a s t . . . What time d i d you leave home? How d i d you go? D i d you go by y o u r s e l f or with someone... How d i d your school look l i k e ? Is there anyone w i t h you o r a r e you by yourself? What d i d you do at school? D i d you know anyone who was i n your c l a s s ? D i d you t a l k t o anyone? What happens b e f o r e you l e f t s c h o o l . . . What was the e a s i e s t t h i n g t h a t you had to do at s c h o o l ? What was the most d i f f i c u l t ? A f t e r a week o r so, how d i d you f e e l about your school? Were you happy w i t h your school? Or were you unhappy? In a few moments, you w i l l be back i n t h i s room S l o w l y open your eyes. U s i n g any image or c o l o u r s , draw a p i c t u r e t h a t shows how you f e l t about your f i r s t day i n Canadian s c h o o l . I t can be any image, and there are no r i g h t o r wrong images o r answers t o t h i s picture.  131  Guided Imagery 2 - My Present L i f e i n Canada Make sure you are i n the r e l a x e d p o s i t i o n . Now c l o s e your eyes and t r y t o r e l a x your whole body. Take a deep b r e a t h , then exhale s l o w l y . T r y to imagine you can see your muscles r e l a x i n g as you e x h a l e . You f e e l very comfortable now. You see n o t h i n g i n t h i s room or anywhere around you. A l l you can see r i g h t now i s i n your mind. Take three or f o u r v e r y l o n g and deep b r e a t h s . As you i n h a l e , take i n t o your body r e l a x a t i o n , and as you exhale, l e t go o f the image you drew a while ago. I n . . . and o u t . I n . . . and o u t . I n . . . and out. Now t h i n k about your l i f e here i n Canada. What i s your average day l i k e ? Imagine a t y p i c a l day i n your life. What time do you wake up? How do you f e e l when you wake up... Do you have b r e a k f a s t by y o u r s e l f or w i t h anyone? Do you t a l k or e a t s i l e n t l y . . . What do you do a f t e r b r e a k f a s t ? Do you have t o go anywhere? How do you spend your morning. . . What do you do a t l u n c h time? Are you alone or w i t h anyone? What happens a f t e r lunch? Do you take a break i n the mid-afternoon? What happens b e f o r e d i n n e r . . . How do you spend d i n n e r ? Do you prepare your food? Do you t y p i c a l l y eat alone o r w i t h someone... And what happens a f t e r d i n n e r . . . What do you do a t bedtime? Imagine now t h a t you are l y i n g i n bed b e f o r e you go t o s l e e p t h i n k i n g your day over. Are you b a s i c a l l y happy w i t h your l i f e i n Canada? Or are you unhappy? What kind o f t h i n g s do you enjoy d u r i n g your day? What kind o f things do you not enjoy? S l o w l y push down on the s u r f a c e upon which you a r e s i t t i n g and s l o w l y open your eyes. Using any images or c o l o u r s , c o u l d you draw o r s k e t c h a p i c t u r e that show how you f e e l about y o u r s e l f and your l i f e i n Canada now. I t can be any way you want i t . There a r e no r i g h t o r wrong answers o r r i g h t o r wrong images t o this picture.  132  Guided Imagery 3 - My Ideal L i f e i n Canada C l o s e your eyes and t r y t o r e l a x your whole body. Take t h r e e or four deep b r e a t h s . I n . . . and out. I n . . . and out. I n . . . and out. As you i n h a l e , your whole body becomes r e l a x e d . And as you exhale, l e t go o f the images you drew. Take another deep b r e a t h . Inhale, h o l d i t , and then exhale s l o w l y . You see n o t h i n g i n t h i s room or anywhere around you. A l l you can see r i g h t now i s i n your mind. Take very l o n g and deep b r e a t h s . I n . . . and o u t . In... and out. Now t h i n k about i d e a l l i f e here i n Canada. What i s an i d e a l day l i k e f o r you i n Canada? Imagine a l l your wishes come t r u e and you a r e v e r y happy here. What time do you wake up? What do you see around you... Do you have b r e a k f a s t by y o u r s e l f o r with someone... What do you do a f t e r b r e a k f a s t ? Do you go to anywhere? Or do you s t a y home? How do you spend your morning... What happens around the lunch time? What do you do a f t e r lunch? Are you with someone? Or do you spend a f t e r n o o n by y o u r s e l f ? What do you do i n the afternoon? What happens b e f o r e dinner... How do you spend dinner? Do you eat by y o u r s e l f or w i t h someone... What do you do a f t e r d i n n e r ? What do you do a t bedtime? Imagine now t h a t you are l y i n g i n bed and t h i n k i n g about your day. what made i t i d e a l ? As you look i n t o the f u t u r e what would you l i k e to see? In a few moments, you w i l l be back here i n t h i s room. Rest f o r another moment. When you are ready, s l o w l y open your eyes. U s i n g any images or c o l o u r s , p l e a s e draw a p i c t u r e t h a t d e s c r i b e s how you wish your l i f e to become i n Canada. I t can be any way, and t h e r e are no r i g h t or wrong answers or images to t h i s picture.  133  APPENDIX C Sample Questions of Data C o l l e c t i o n Interview (a) P l e a s e draw a p i c t u r e that d e s c r i b e s s t a r t e d your l i f e i n Canada.  how you f e l t when you  (b) What were you t h i n k i n g when you drew t h i s  picture?  (c) What does t h i s p i c t u r e means t o you? (d) How were you f e e l i n g while you were drawing t h i s  picture?  (e) Draw a p i c t u r e that d e s c r i b e s how you a r e f e e l i n g about y o u r s e l f and your l i f e i n Canada. (f)  Do you see any d i f f e r e n c e i n you p i c t u r e compared to your f i r s t picture?  (g) What brought the change or no change? (h) How would you l i k e to b r i n g changes to your p r e s e n t  life?  (i)  What have you t r i e d to b r i n g changes to your p r e s e n t  life?  (j)  How would you l i k e your p i c t u r e to become? P l e a s e draw a p i c t u r e t h a t d e s c r i b e s how you would l i k e your l i f e t o be.  (k) What do you t h i n k you w i l l need to reach t h i s p i c t u r e (the drawing o f i d e a l future l i f e ) from the p r e s e n t l i f e p i c t u r e ? Prompts T e l l me more about t h a t . How d i d you f e e l ? What went through your mind when that happened? What d i d t h a t mean to you?  135  SENTENCE RESEARCH  COMPLETION  ON INTERNATIONAL  1. When I drew,  2. Drawing about myself makes me  3. When I t a l k about my drawing,  4. When I drew about the present,  5. When I drew about the f u t u r e ,  6. I t ' s easy t o draw  7. I t ' s d i f f i c u l t t o draw  8. When I t a l k about myself,  Thank you v e r y much.  QUESTIONNAIRE STUDENTS  A N D DRAWING  136  APPENDIX  E  Miguel's Drawings - I n i t i a l Initial  Present  and Present  Period  Life  Life  137  APPENDIX F Miguel's Drawing - Ideal Future L i f e  APPENDIX  P r e s e n t  G  L i f e  139  APPENDIX H Lucy's Drawing - Ideal Future L i f e  140  APPENDIX  I  V i c t o r i a ' s Drawings- I n i t i a l and Present Initial  Period  Present L i f e  Life  APPENDIX J V i c t o r i a ' s Drawing - Ideal Future L i f e  142  APPENDIX K Jamie's Drawings- I n i t i a l and Present I n i t i a l Period  Present L i f e  Life  143  APPENDIX L Jamie's Drawing - Ideal Future L i f e  144  APPENDIX M K a t h e r i n e ' s Drawings - I n i t i a l and P r e s e n t I n i t i a l Period  Present  Life  Life  146  APPENDIX O Summary of Unique Themes Moving In - A n t i c i p a t i o n P e r i o d (A) Emotional Dynamics Shame V i c t o r i a d e s c r i b e d having  f e l t so ashamed d u r i n g the  week a f t e r her a r r i v a l i n Canada.  Her  first  f e e l i n g s of shame were so  i n t e n s e t h a t she wanted to hide from o t h e r s . (B) E x t e r n a l Dynamics F a c i n g F o r e i g n Tasks For Jamie, an u n f a m i l i a r task i n s c h o o l posed the challenge. having  Jamie s t r u g g l e d with r e g i s t r a t i o n and  to do e v e r y t h i n g on her own.  her home where e v e r y t h i n g was students.  I t was  first  the i d e a of  a c l e a r c o n t r a s t to  predetermined and  l a i d out f o r  Jamie e x p l a i n e d as f o l l o w s :  We d i d something l i k e r e g i s t e r courses, and something l i k e p a y i n g t u i t i o n f e e s . And I d i d n ' t have such experience before. (In China,) we don't need to r e g i s t e r . Yeah, i t ' s a u t o m a t i c a l l y , you j u s t go to c l a s s and a t e a c h e r w i l l t e l l you e v e r y t h i n g . And every student has e x a c t l y same c l a s s and l e s s o n s you take. (C) B e h a v i o u r a l  Dynamics  Withdrawal V i c t o r i a avoided i n Canada. waited  She  s o c i a l contacts i n the f i r s t week of  stayed at home i n bed most of the time,  f o r time to pass.  and  While V i c t o r i a l a t e r r e c o g n i z e d  r o l e i n making the s i t u a t i o n worse f o r h e r s e l f , she  being  her  also believed  147  t h a t i t was a way to s t o r e some energy  and to gather courage to  face her new l i f e .  Moving Through - I n i t i a l (A) Emotional  Period  Dynamics  F e e l i n g G u i l t y and Torn Lucy d e s c r i b e d t h a t she f e l t g u i l t y because she had l e f t her s m a l l c h i l d r e n f o r her own education. life  i n Canada and her l i f e  the i n i t i a l  She was t o r n between h e r  as a mother a t home, and t h i s made  p e r i o d very d i f f i c u l t  f o r h e r because h e r c h i l d r e n  were always on her mind.  These f e e l i n g s i n t e n s i f i e d the p r e s s u r e  to succeed as she thought  o f the s a c r i f i c e her f a m i l y made f o r  her  education.  Confusion over S e l f - P e r c e p t i o n Victoria's  experience was unique  i n t h a t her s e l f - i m a g e  changed d r a s t i c a l l y over the course o f her school l i f e She was c o n f i d e n t i n the beginning, but soon r e a l i z e d was  i n Canada. t h a t she  not a competent student i n Canada as she had been i n China.  T h i s change o f s e l f - p e r c e p t i o n caused her to f e e l confused her  about  identity.  (C) B e h a v i o u r a l Dynamics Using Metaphorical  Support  V i c t o r i a r e l i e d on her f a t h e r ' s l e t t e r as a major source o f support when she f e l t period.  Although  criticism,  sad and depressed d u r i n g the i n i t i a l  the l e t t e r was i n i t i a l l y p e r c e i v e d as a  i t became an important  source o f i n n e r s t r e n g t h a f t e r  148  she had time to absorb h i s message.  She s t a t e d t h a t the l e t t e r  gave her s t r e n g t h and courage at times o f f e e l i n g down.  Moving Out - Present L i f e (A) Emotional Dynamics Guilt K a t h e r i n e d e s c r i b e d f e e l i n g g u i l t y towards  her f a m i l y .  f e e l s g u i l t y about sending her daughter to a b a b y - s i t t e r , her husband working, and about having l i t t l e v a r i o u s r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s she had c o n t r i b u t e d to t h i s f e e l i n g , unhappiness The l i f e  She  about  time f o r them.  The  (as a mother, w i f e , and student)  and t h i s was  f u e l e d by the  Katherine sensed from her husband and her daughter.  i n Canada f o r her and her f a m i l y proved to be v e r y  c h a l l e n g i n g as they a l l s t r u g g l e d w i t h the new custom, and new  culture,  new  language.  Isolation Lucy r e p o r t e d f e e l i n g i s o l a t e d at times.  She e x p l a i n e d that  she became preoccupied with the heavy s c h o o l load, and as a consequence,  had l i t t l e  time or energy l e f t  activities.  However, she r e c o g n i z e d the v a l u e o f support i n  d e a l i n g with s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n s , out  for social  and knew that she c o u l d reach  to o t h e r s .  Disappointment with School M i g u e l d e s c r i b e d h i s sense o f disappointment i n s c h o o l . While he enjoyed having much f r e e time, he f e l t i n h i s school l i f e .  a l a c k o f purpose  He e x p l a i n e d t h a t he f e l t he c o u l d achieve  149  more, but sensed t h a t h i s s u p e r v i s o r d i d not understand dissatisfaction.  The communication d i f f i c u l t y he  experienced  w i t h h i s s u p e r v i s o r c o n t r i b u t e d to h i s d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n school.  His sense of disappointment  his  with  seemed to be f u r t h e r  by the h i g h e x p e c t a t i o n he had of school l i f e i n Canada. s a i d t h a t the l a c k of workload  fuelled Miguel  and s u p e r v i s i o n l e d him to be  a p a t h e t i c about s c h o o l , and that he t r i e d to d i v e r t h i m s e l f his  from  unhappiness by f o c u s i n g on h i s p o s i t i v e f a m i l y l i f e .  (B) E x t e r n a l Dynamics Identity  Issue  Jamie e x p l a i n e d how  she saw h e r s e l f as b e i n g i n between  Canadian and Chinese c u l t u r e s .  While her knowledge about Canada  has i n c r e a s e d and she does not f e e l i n f e r i o r to Canadians anymore, Jamie f e e l s t h a t she cannot Canadian.  change h e r s e l f to be l i k e a  T h i s caused i n n e r c o n f l i c t s a t times.  d i s t a n c e between h e r s e l f and Canadians, to  l i e i n f i n d i n g her own  She p e r c e i v e s  and her f u t u r e t a s k seems  p l a c e beyond c u l t u r e s .  (C) B e h a v i o u r a l Dynamics E n j o y i n g Family  Life  Miguel i s a c t i v e l y p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n h i s f a m i l y l i f e  by  s h a r i n g chores and r e c r e a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s w i t h h i s w i f e f o r the first  time s i n c e they got married.  Because f a m i l y has  an  important meaning f o r Miguel, being able to spend time w i t h h i s f a m i l y makes him  f e e l content with h i s l i f e .  150  Living  Independently  Jamie expressed s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h b e i n g  independent.  Although l i v i n g alone posed a c h a l l e n g e i n the i n i t i a l p e r i o d , she c u r r e n t l y f e e l s p o s i t i v e l y about b e i n g able to handle life.  her  151  APPENDIX P P a r t i c i p a n t s ' Responses on Sentence Completion 1. When I drew, P a r t i c i p a n t A:  P a r t i c i p a n t B: P a r t i c i p a n t C:  P a r t i c i p a n t D:  P a r t i c i p a n t E:  Questionnaires  I f e l t unsecure about my drawings because I'm not used to draw anything. I d i d n ' t know how to s t a r t . I t r i e d t o t e l l my f e e l i n g s . I f e l t not easy to f i n d a p a r t i c u l a r drawing t o d e l i v e r my f e e l i n g s which I e x p e r i e n c e d b e f o r e . However, I f e l t u s i n g c o l o u r s i s e a s i e r f o r me to r e f l e c t my f e e l i n g s . F i r s t , I'm l i t t l e b i t wonder what I "should" draw, so I ask you to c o n f i r m "what I s h o u l d draw". I'm l i t t l e b i t not c l e a r what i s supposed to draw at f i r s t . I got the o p p o r t u n i t y t o put on paper my experiences of being a student i n Canada.  2. Drawing about myself makes me P a r t i c i p a n t A: Happy. I t i s very e x c i t i n g t o draw about your l i f e o r thoughts. P a r t i c i p a n t B: R e t h i n k i n g my l i f e . P a r t i c i p a n t C: R e c a l l o f my experiences and f e e l i n g s . P a r t i c i p a n t D: I don't care about how w e l l I draw about myself because I know i t ' s j u s t l i k e a k i n d o f "symbol" t o r e f l e c t my f e e l i n g and t h i n k i n g so I d i d n ' t pay a t t e n t i o n t o c o l o u r and f i g u r e and drawing s k i l l s . P a r t i c i p a n t E: Get i n touch with my f e e l i n g s i n a c o n c r e t e way. 3. When I t a l k about my drawing, P a r t i c i p a n t A: I f e e l f r e e to say anything about me or my f a m i l y or my plans f o r the f u t u r e . P a r t i c i p a n t B: I t a l k e d about the most s t r i k i n g t h i n g s . P a r t i c i p a n t C: I am more c e r t a i n of the f e e l i n g s I experienced. P a r t i c i p a n t D: I f e e l good and necessary t o d e s c r i b e what I mean through my drawing. P a r t i c i p a n t E: I begin t o see things or aspects/meanings t h a t I d i d n ' t have b e f o r e .  152  4. When I drew about the present, P a r t i c i p a n t A: I f e l t happy because I l i k e the way I'm l i v i n g . P a r t i c i p a n t C: I f e l t p r e t t y easy as I am q u i t e c o m f o r t a b l e about my present l i f e . P a r t i c i p a n t D: I f e e l p r e t t y good about my c u r r e n t l i f e , so I draw a b e a u t i f u l scene t o r e f l e c t my s a t i s f y i n g feeling. P a r t i c i p a n t E: I f e l t q u i t e happy because I have s u r v i v e d . 5. When I drew about the future, P a r t i c i p a n t A: I thought about the o p t i o n s I have; I thought about the d e c i s i o n s I have t o make. P a r t i c i p a n t C: I f i r s t found i t ' s hard but then I found i t ' s not that hard. P a r t i c i p a n t D: I c o n s i d e r d i f f e r e n t aspects of my i d e a l f u t u r e life. I want t o draw a p i c t u r e : my f a m i l y i n "paradise". P a r t i c i p a n t E: I was happy t o be i n a p o s i t i o n t o f e e l t h a t I deserve a b e t t e r f u t u r e . I had worked h a r d enough. 6. I t ' s easy t o draw P a r t i c i p a n t A: A f t e r you d i d i t f o r a w h i l e . Once you s t a r t , i t i s easy to continue. The p r e s e n t i s the e a s i e s t p a r t t o draw. P a r t i c i p a n t C: Present L i f e . P a r t i c i p a n t D: Future than "before" because the f e e l i n g t o f u t u r e day i s s o r t of g e n e r a l i z e d f e e l i n g . P a r t i c i p a n t E: Not r e a l l y . P a r t i c u l a r l y when your images a r e complicated as l i f e experiences a r e . 7. I t ' s d i f f i c u l t t o draw P a r t i c i p a n t A: When you t h i n k about the past because you have to go back, t o f e e l what you f e l t b e f o r e . P a r t i c i p a n t B: The f e e l i n g and emotion. P a r t i c i p a n t C: A p a r t i c u l a r image, but e a s i e r t o d e s c r i b e i n words. P a r t i c i p a n t D: " F i r s t day i n Canada". P a r t i c i p a n t E: Yes - l i f e experiences are u n i d i m e n s i o n a l and i t i s hard to represent dynamics o f l i f e on a p i e c e o f paper.  153  8. When I t a l k about myself, P a r t i c i p a n t A: I f e e l ashame because i t i s not easy t o d e s c r i b e o n e s e l f without s a y i n g something wrong. P a r t i c i p a n t C: I f e l t as i f I were i n the o l d days when I f i r s t came here. P a r t i c i p a n t D: I f e e l r e l a x and e x c i t e d . I l i k e to t a l k with people and do s e l f - a n a l y z e . P a r t i c i p a n t E: I t ' s quite easy and I f e e l t h a t i t i s p a r t o f sharing - g e t t i n g to know each o t h e r . I wish the i n t e r v i e w e r would "open" h e r s e l f , t o o . Kind o f f e e l one-sided.  

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