ERIC Number: ED408625
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Nov
Intercultural Challenges for Foreign Students into the Stressful Journey of Graduate School.
Graduate students have long expressed difficulties adapting to different expectations graduate schools place upon them. Foreign students pursuing knowledge in the field of speech communication encounter cultural difficulties. Foreign graduate students are students at risk because they become a central locus for cultural tensions in relation to: (1) educational systems and values; (2) sociocultural and linguistic norms appropriate for graduate programs of study; and (3) ways these students construct and reconstruct their identities. Comparing and contrasting educational views from back home becomes a serious tension for graduate students at risk. Language also has a powerful impact on modalities in which these students establish themselves as competent scholars. Another cultural tension refers to assessing levels of appropriateness and significance for responses in class discussion and written form. Grading criteria is yet another. Sociocultural interpretations of interactions with faculty and peers, ability to negotiate confrontation on specific issues, and possible misinterpretation of socially acceptable behaviors represent sources of stress. Redefining or reconstructing an individual's cultural identity in another cultural context presents another challenge. To what extent does stress due to cultural tensions remain with these foreign graduate students after they have accomplished their goals of professionalism? How can they overcome perceived cultural barriers and gain confidence? By studying how the stressful journey of graduate programs offers accounts of intercultural communication, this line of research can illustrate even more significantly the necessity of intercultural communication for a global perspective of the 21st century. (Contains 27 references, and 30 notes.) (CR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (82nd, San Diego, CA, November 23-26, 1996).