A stranger in a strange land: Experiences of adjustment among international postgraduate students in Malaysia
Seyedali Ahrari, Steven Eric Krauss, Turiman Suandi, Haslinda Abdullah, Aishah Hamizah Abdullah Sahimi, Adekalu Samuel Olutokunbo and Dzuhailmi Dahalan
Universiti Putra Malaysia
Despite the ongoing globalisation of higher education, few studies have attempted to understand international students' adjustment experiences in non-Western institutions of higher learning. This study employed in depth, semi-structured interviews to explore the adjustment experiences of 10 international postgraduate students in Malaysia. Three themes and twelve sub-themes emerged from the interviews, including academic adjustment (academic experiences with English language, different teaching and learning approaches, experiences with student support services, and academic support), psychological adjustment (safety and peacefulness, loneliness, anxiety and stress, and homesickness), and sociocultural adjustment (perceived discrimination, language and communication challenges, personal friendships with local students, and culture shock). The theoretical and practical implications are outlined in regard to international students' expectations and experiences of living and studying in Malaysia.
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|Authors: Dr Seyedali Ahrari is currently doing his postdoctoral research at Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia. His research interests include youth civic development, social entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship education, and international education.|
Dr Steven Eric Krauss is an Associate Professor with the Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia. He has also been involved in a multi-year collaborative research project with the School of Human Ecology of the University of Wisconsin, USA, and exploring youth-adult partnership in youth and community program settings.
Professor Turiman Suandi is a former Professor with the Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia. His areas of specialisation include extension education, human resource development, youth development and volunteerism. He is actively involved in Parent Teacher Associations and is currently an Honorary Fellow at the Selangor Youth Council as well as a resource person at the Selangor Youth Consultative Council.
Dr Haslinda Abdullah is an Associate Professor with the Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia. She has been involved in research, consultancy work and in advisory and community services both nationally and internationally. Her areas of specialisation include youth health and welfare, psychometric consultation, youth community development, social psychology, developmental psychology, applied psychology, and religious studies.
Nur Aishah Hamizah Abdullah Sahimi holds a Master of Science in Human Resource Development from Universiti Putra Malaysia. She is currently working on youth engagement and participation in voluntary activities in Malaysia.
Dr Adekalu Samuel Olutokunbo is a Federal Government of Nigeria academic scholar attached to the Department of Training and Education at Petroleum Technology Development Fund Nigeria. He is currently a research assistant and doctoral student at the Department of Professional Development and Continuing Education, Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia.
Dzuhailmi Dahalan is a social research officer at Institute for Social Science Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia. He is involved in many research topics such as spiritual intelligence and parent-child relations, risk and causal factors of Muslim youth apostasy, youth-adult partnerships, obesity and youth quality of life and wellbeing, and conceptualising youth connectedness.
Please cite as: Ahrari, S., Krauss, S. E., Suandi, T., Abdullah, H., Sahimi, A. H. A., Olutokunbo, A. S. & Dahalan, D. (2019). A stranger in a strange land: Experiences of adjustment among international postgraduate students in Malaysia. Issues in Educational Research, 29(3), 611-632. http://www.iier.org.au/iier29/ahrari.pdf