Challenges of university academic adjustment: a case study of East Asian international postgraduate students at one British university

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Wu, Wenli
  • Subject: LB2300

This is a study of international East Asian (Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, Thai and Korean) postgraduate students' experience of adjustment (n=40) at a university in the UK in the year 2004/5. It is an empirical case study which investigates English language adjustment, academic adjustment and sociocultural adjustment. It employs a mix of methods - questionnaire, research diary, and interviews, in order to achieve triangulation for validity and reliability. Data were coded in order and grouped into themes. Findings were reported in eight narrative accounts of individual students, in a thematic description, and in models of integration and adjustment. It was found that, overall, East Asian students were largely positive and the study describes strategies used to address difficulties and challenges. However one example of failure in the university (i. e. an unhappy experience) was given. The study presents the notion of an "Integrated international student experience" to help understand the experience of the sojourner in an academic institution. This research has made a significant contribution to the literature on adjustment and transition of international students in the UK. In addition, using narrative accounts to present data has also contributed to methodological issues in studying living and study abroad.
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