Foreign Literature About Stress

8977 Words Jul 19th, 2012 36 Pages
The incidence of study-related stress in international students in the initial stage of the international sojourn
1Abstract
This paper explores the incidence of stress in international students in relation to the requirements of an international Masters Programme. The data presented here were taken from a doctoral ethnographic study of the adaptation of international postgraduate students to life in the UK, involving individual interviews with thirteen students over the academic year 2003/4 as well as participant observation of the entire cohort of 150 Masters students. It is suggested that article stress related to the academic task
2is caused by academic cultural differences particularly in regard to critical evaluation and
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2 Defined as any non-UK resident (Pelletier 2004).
4linguistic differences but also due to a failure to understand or communicate at a cultural level, something which may not have been anticipated. Academic success is dependent on the assimilation of the norms of the academic culture (Blue 1993), and it is for this reason that the culture of the academic world is usually more important for international students than that of the host community (Sharples
1995), as failing to gain a qualification will result in loss of face on the part of the student and their family (Barker 1997; Hofstede 2001; Ryan and Carroll 2005). Accordingly, international students often reduce their cultural adaptation to the minimum required to fulfil their role as student (Gudykunst
1983; Kim, 1988).
There is a temporal relationship between culture shock and adjustment (Searle and Ward, 1990;
Furnham 1993; Gudykunst 1998). Culture shock is intense upon arrival in a new country, but is noted for its transitory nature, and in the models of adjustment, it is the first stage of adaptation that sojourners go through (e.g. the U-Curve model by Lysgaard 1955; the W-Curve model by Gullahorn and Gullahorn 1963). It might be expected therefore that stress would be most prominent in the initial stage of the academic sojourn and would diminish once adjustment to academic norms and conventions had been made, and once students had developed sufficient linguistic competence to meet the demands
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