Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.
College of Liberal Arts
James H. Robinson
Michael W. Schwartz
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Keywords and Subject Headings
Cultural Adjustments, culture shock, internatioanl students, cultural classes, cultural identity
This study aims to foster international students’ understanding of culture shock and cultural adjustment based on what they have learned from culture courses. For students to realize and respond appropriately to the cultural challenges, culture courses provide opportunities for students to comfortably discuss and share their experiences and struggles since it aims to raise cultural awareness by taking into account these in helping students modify or adjust them to be in accordance with the new culture. When courses enable students to talk about how those challenges/struggles may be solved in their classes, it better prepares students for what lies ahead. Furthermore, when students are more informed, they are less likely to be frustrated and overwhelmed which could result in fewer students quitting and return to their home country without achieving original goals. Therefore, the central emphasis of this study is to explore how well international students utilize the knowledge that they have learned in culture classes for better and smoother culture transition. This study aims to address efficacy of culture class on international students’ cultural adjustment period.
In this study, I interviewed seven international students who have attended culture classes at the regional public university in the Midwest U.S. in fall 2017 and spring 2018. Twelve interview questions were asked to find out how much the culture classes contributed positively to their culture adjustment process. Based on my research, I have found that regardless the international students’ ethnicity or original cultural backgrounds, there are many commonalities in expectations of the American education, and that at the same time, there are exceptions that are unique to people from specific cultures or disciplines. With all people, regardless the differences, some challenges and struggles will be intrinsic and some extrinsic. The more students are prepared for the challenges raised by cultural differences, the better they become successful in transition. Culture classes are consequently as important for the international students as academic class for the students who explore new life in another culture.
Kwon, Hoonam, "Positive Influences of Culture Class on International Students’ Cultural Adjustment" (2019). Culminating Projects in TESL. 3.