Cultural Adjustment Experiences of Vietnamese International Students in Australia
Different aspects regarding international students’ needs and experiences when they adapt to social and academic environments in English speaking countries have been investigated in the last few decades. This paper explores how Vietnamese international postgraduates adjust to life in Australia. A questionnaire survey and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 19 Vietnamese international postgraduate students who were pursuing their Master or PhD Master degrees at the University of Queensland, Australia. The findings indicate that although having well-prepared prior to their sojourn, most participants encountered such cultural adjustment problems as language barrier, cultural differences, social relationships, unfamiliar educational system and ability to practice critical thinking. A wide range of resources and specific strategies which were used for coping with cultural adjustment problems were also reported. The paper provides useful information for educational stakeholders in Vietnam and Australia to improve students’ experiences and strategies to better prepare for their sojourn and to positively adjust to the host country.
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