CHINESE GRADUATE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS’ CULTURAL ADJUSTMENT IN THE US: A QUALITATIVE INVESTIGATION
Miller, Matthew J
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Chinese international students are the largest and fastest growing international student body on US campuses (Open Door Report, 2016). This study used the consensual qualitative research method (CQR; Hill, Thompson, & Williams, 1997; Hill, 2012) to capture the complexity of the challenges and growth Chinese graduate international student may experience adjusting to their lives in the US in the current sociopolitical context. Nine participants (6 females; 3 males) enrolled in graduate programs from various disciplines were interviewed about their perceptions of the sociopolitical environment, cultural adjustment expectations and experiences, and social support systems. Findings revealed an on-going evaluative process where participants negotiated their expectations with cultural adjustment changes in multiple life areas to achieve a subjective sense of satisfaction and well-being. Findings have implications for professionals working with CIS to help them mitigate the negative impact of internationalized oppression and develop a more individualized and realistic sense of purpose.