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ERIC Number: ED552893
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 195
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3030-0713-2
Oceans Crossing: Factors Contributing to the Social and Academic Integration of Korean, Malaysian, and Taiwanese International Undergraduate Students at a Research University
Pham, Hoa
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
The number of international students, especially Asian international students, studying at colleges and universities in the United States has increased dramatically during the past 50 years. As the fastest growing population on campus, Asian international students are also attracting more attention than ever before in higher education. However, much research has focused on Asian students' adjustment and adaptation to American culture and campus life. This study investigated factors contributing to social and academic integration of Korean, Malaysian and Taiwanese international undergraduate students. This study sought understanding of why some or many of the Asian international undergraduate students integrate into college successfully despite having many challenges. Might their distinctive characteristics, country of origin, cultural norms and values, and other internal as well as external factors have significant bearing on the challenges of their social and academic integration? Specifically, guided by the Behavior-Perception-Behavior Model (Milem & Berger, 1997), and Self-Determination Theory (SDT) (Deci & Ryan, 1991, 2000), this study investigated how students were making a successful transition into the institution and how they integrated into the university community. This qualitative case study gained insights into students' attitudes, behaviors, their cultures and values systems, concerns, motivations, and aspirations to become integrated to a new college environment. The study found that participants' limited cultural awareness and knowledge of America and its educational system, and language proficiency for engaging in cross-cultural interactions proved to be factors influencing their social and academic integration. However, most Korean, Malaysian, and Taiwanese participants in this study were both highly intrinsically and extrinsically motivated to do well in college and were very goal-oriented. Most participants were more academically integrated than socially integrated. Most participants got more involved in both social activities and academic activities after their first year. Malaysian and Taiwanese students in the study were likely to be more socially and academically integrated in the college community than Korean students. In addition, major differences in academic and social integration were found among those interviewed participating students. The participants who enrolled in higher ranking programs such as education, communication, engineering, business, and natural sciences got more involved in campus and thus, became more integrated and more affiliated with their institution while students in economic programs felt marginalized in the campus community. The study offered suggestions for improving policies and practices, theories, and future research on Asian international undergraduate students. Both Self-determination theory and the Behavior-Perception-Behavior model proved that they were conceptually useful through the rich findings of the study. The study proved that Asian international students are not a homogenous group and their needs and concerns differ by country of origin, ethnicity, age, year in college, programs of study, and educational background. Developing cross-cultural programs to facilitate interaction between domestic and international students would help international students improve their English and become more confident in interacting with diverse people. The study showed that Korean, Malaysian, and Taiwanese student associations play an important role in the participants' lives during their time studying in the U.S. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A