Proceedings of The 5th International Conference on Research in Behavioral and Social Science
The peculiarities of social adaptation of international students with regard to their cultural affiliation
Vera A. Fedotova
In the 21 century, many universities have chosen to internationalise their activity, making it their strategy of first importance. The number of international students is one of the indicators of how successful an institution is on the world market of educational services. The international character of modern education can be noticed in the increase of academic mobility and the growth of numbers of international students. Our research demonstrates the peculiarities of coping strategies, reveals the differences in socio-cultural adaptation scales among students from China and students representing the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The respondents who took part in this research are students from the CIS countries (n=103) and from China (n=69), currently studying in Russian institutions of higher education. It was found that students from the CIS countries, their culture being similar to the Russian culture for their poly-activity, collectivism and poly-chronicity, have the indirect coping strategy and the passive coping strategy (cautious model of behaviour) as their dominating strategies. At the same time, Chinese students – whose culture may be characterised as high context, reactive, with prevailing collectivism and femininity – have demonstrated the domination of pro-social behavioural strategy that is based on seeking social support. The scales of socio-cultural adaptation show differences in the students’ academic adaptation and command of the Russian language. Representatives of high
context and reactive cultures (Chinese students) find it most difficult to adapt to the peculiarities of learning process, to the requirements set by the higher education system and to the need to communicate in the native language of the hosting country.
Keywords: culture, coping strategies, socio-cultural adaptation, adaptation scales.