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Co-national support, cultural therapy, and the adjustment of Asian students to an English-speaking university culture


Elza Magalh„es Major 
University of Nevada, Reno, United States 
emajor@unr.edu

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Abstract

This article discusses the adjustment of ten Asian-born university students to the academic culture of an English-speaking university in the United States. Findings from a case study reveal an instrumental role played by compatriot networks in the studentsí adjustment process. Spindlerís cultural therapy model provides the lens for an anthropological understanding of the role of the co-national networks in the participantsí adjustment to the new school culture. Implications of this study are two fold: they indicate the need for universities to revise their orientation programs for international students, especially Asian students, whose home country school practices differ from the English-speaking school cultures. It is also suggested that cultural mediation upon arrival is a more viable alternative than institutional remediation of academic difficulties experienced by Asian students that come from cross-cultural maladjustment.

Cultural adjustment, Asian students, co-national support, student orientation, international students, enduring self, situated self, endangered self

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Major, E.M. (2005) Co-national support, cultural therapy, and the adjustment of Asian students to an English-speaking university culture. International Education Journal, 6 (1), 84-95.
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