e-ISSN 2231-8534
ISSN 0128-7702

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Role of Prior Intercultural Learning in Chinese University Students’ Cross-cultural Adaptation

Fan Fang, Shuyi Zhang and Tariq Elyas

Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 28, Issue 3, September 2020

Keywords: Cross-cultural adaptation, intercultural learning, international students, study abroad, teaching culture

Published on: 25 September 2020

With the increased prevalence of studying abroad, cross-cultural adaptation of students studying in foreign countries has become more important. How international students’ experience of cross-cultural adaptation can be enhanced is thus worth exploring. Focusing on the pre-departure period, this study investigates how Chinese students in tertiary education prepare with intercultural learning before studying abroad, how their prior intercultural learning experience influences their cross-cultural adaptation, and how their perceptions of prior intercultural learning impact their experience. From qualitative interview data, this research found that 1) Chinese university students who had study abroad experience generally engaged in prior intercultural learning in many ways to varying degrees, but they were likely to overestimate the adequacy of their prior intercultural learning; 2) prior intercultural learning was necessary for international students’ successful cross-cultural adaptation, but it had a limited influence and needed to be practiced in intercultural encounters to optimize such adaptation. With related suggestions for facilitating prior intercultural learning, this study offered insights into how Chinese university students and other stakeholders involved in these students’ study abroad experience could take advantage of the pre-departure period to produce better outcomes in overseas students’ cross-cultural adaptation.

ISSN 0128-7702

e-ISSN 2231-8534

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