Date of Award

6-2019

Culminating Project Type

Thesis

Degree Name

English

Department

English

College

College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

James Robinson

Second Advisor

John Madden

Third Advisor

Kristen Carlson

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Female Acculturation

Abstract

This paper discusses the process female international students experience when acculturating, or adjusting, while studying abroad in the United States. The research includes interviews from ten female international students in their third or fourth year of study from a Midwestern university to answer the question of how females have handled their adjustment process and what outside factors contribute to their overall study abroad experience. It is important to find trends on the contributing factors for a positive or negative study abroad experience according to the student’s viewpoint. Females make up a significant portion of the student body population studying abroad, yet there is limited research about their acculturation process and what leads to success. This study found that participants recounted negative experiences relating to factors outside of their control, such as academic or social cultural differences, language barriers or financial stress. However, the female participants in this study, combined with their personal motivation and support networks, were able to find resources that enabled positive experiences to occur which offset the female students’ negative experiences. It is the female international student’s own mindset along with provided opportunities to create a support network that is vital for a positive acculturation process. This positive experience is important for the international female student population to succeed in their academic journey.

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