Acculturative Experiences Among Indonesian Graduate Students in US Higher Education: Academic Shock, Adjustment, Crisis, and Resolution

Amirul Mukminin

Abstract


The purpose of this qualitative inquiry was to describe and understand the lived experiences of the acculturative process of Indonesian graduate students at an American public research university. The theoretical frameworks of Oberg’s (1960) Culture Shock Model and Berry and his colleagues’ (1987) and Berry’s (2006) Acculturation Stress Model were used to guide this study. Data for this study were collected through a demographic background survey, in-depth interviews, and focus group discussions with Indonesian graduate students. The demographic data were analyzed descriptively. The interviews and focus groups data were analyzed using within-case and cross-case displays and analyses (Miles and Huberman 1994). Five salient themes and sub-themes that emerged were: academic shock, adjustment, crisis, resolution, and what helps/does not help? Implications and strategies for professionals and scholars who work with international students in practice, education, and policy are discussed. In addition, strategies to promote Indonesian graduate students’ academic and social success in graduate programs are included. Suggestions for future research are also discussed.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/ehe.2012.64

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