ERIC Number: ED452336
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
International Female Graduate Students' Perceptions of Their Adjustment Experiences and Coping Strategies at an Urban Research University.
This study investigated the perceptions of female international graduate students from non-European countries of their adjustment experiences while studying at an urban research university, identifying coping strategies they used to overcome their problems. Data collection involved focus group interviews that emphasized: why they chose to pursue graduate education at the university; what their experiences had been; their most difficult adjustment problems; how they coped with the problems; and what they thought the university could do to help them with these problems. Common themes that emerged from the data were decision making, language, discrimination, ignorance, coping strategies, and future suggestions. Most women came to the United States because their aspirations had reached a level that could not be satisfied by local opportunities. Problems students encountered included lack of English proficiency, discrimination, and Americans' lack of knowledge about other cultures and countries. Participants coped with problems by finding out which systems worked best for them, then using them to handle their situations. The students wanted their institutions to help facilitate adjustment by focusing on interaction between American and foreign students, discussion forums for international students to share their experiences, and faculty members' understanding of international students' limitations. (Contains 63 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Seattle, WA, April 10-14, 2001).