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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Patterns of adjustment of international students to the University of British Columbia Farrokh, Kaveh


This study has been an attempt to investigate the process of cross-cultural adjustment of a group of 13 international students studying at the University of British Columbia. The "u-curve" theory of adjustment was tested. It was hypothesized that foreign students would have individual patterns of cross-cultural adjustment. General self-concept, academic self-concept, attitude towards Canadians and attitude towards Canadian culture were used as indices of cross-cultural adjustment. The self-concept dimensions were defined by Ishiyama's self-validation theory (1987,1988). The relationship between all indices were explored. The adjustment patterns of groups of international students (i.e; Male/Female) were also explored. The main method of data interpretation was visual analysis, using two dimensional graphs. C-statistic tests (Tryon, 1982) were used to test the statistical significance of the curves. Three dimensional graphs were also used for data interpretation. Interviews were conducted at the end of the study. It was concluded that the u-curve theory of cross-cultural adjustment was not supported across all. subjects. General and academic self-concepts were found to be highly related. Academic performance was found to have a strong influence upon academic self-concept. No causal relationship was discovered between attitudes about Canadians and Canadian culture. Finally, female western foreign students were found to have the most succussfull adjustment. This was followed in succession by non-western females, western males and finally, eastern males.

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