Adjustment Problem Among International Students

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FACTORS AFFECTING THE ADJUSTMENT OF FOREIGN STUDENTS IN MALAYSIA

Abstract
This research project was aimed at investigating the factors affecting the adjustment of international students in Malaysia. This study consisted of 160 international students in private universities in Malaysia. Even though international students represent around 5 per cent of all tertiary enrolments in Malaysia, the population of international students in Malaysia is on the increase year by year. However, there are plenty of factors, which they are facing a new educational system and social environment. Most of international students who have purpose to study in foreign country have to face the challenges that are connected to their adjustment experiences. They have need of coping with the differences between their own cultural values and customs. The finding from this research was a sign of how they adapt and challenge with problems in Malaysia in terms of behavior, external and time how long they need to take time to adapt in Malaysia. Basically, what we found in this research is the longer they stay in Malaysia, the less problems they have and face. This research attaches and implies to the understanding of international students’ adjustment processes and guides a lot of ways for next generation.

1.1 Introduction
Issue that international students face adjustment difficulties when engaging in international education is not new. For example, as early as 1963, many researchers have conducted studies on attitudes and social relations of foreign students (Selltiz, Christ, Havel, & Cook, 1963). And their results have shown that there are many complex challenges students facing while travelling to other countries to undertake university or other educational courses, particularly if their home country culture is extremely different from the host country culture. Nevertheless, given their culturally diverse backgrounds, international students may experience adjustment strains within their host environment that are unique to them.

It is not surprising that the physical and psychological well being of students, as well as their academic performance, can be affected by some adjustment challenges (Ward, Bochner & Furnham, 2001). These relatively short-term visitors to a new culture (or sojourners), who come for purposes other than permanent settlement, are likely to experience ‘culture shock’-which refers to the feeling of distress and unease when being exposed to a foreign culture resulting from the sudden loss of all familiar signs and symbols of everyday life, with consequent psychological stress and use of coping. The four main adjustment problems faced by international students who summarized by Tseng and Newton (2002) are: (a) general living adjustment, (b) socio-cultural adjustment, (c) personal psychological adjustment, and (d) academic adjustment. There are few more researchers done the similar topic such as Lin and Yi, 1997. Researcher has also shown that when international students suffer from a variety of adjustment issues, it can lead to their emotional changing include: helplessness, hostility toward the host country, anxiety, and over-identification with the home country, insomnia, low motivation, lacking in self confidence, withdrawal, homesickness, and loneliness. The Malaysian international education sector has grown immensely during the past period and Malaysia is fast becoming a center of educational excellence in the region. It is progressively becoming a hub for education as international students are continuously gathering the corridors of Malaysian universities and colleges are still attracting many International students from different parts of...
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