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INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS’ ADJUSTMENT PROBLEMS AT UNIVERSITY: A CRITICAL LITERATURE REVIEW

Keywords: International students , undergraduate students , adjustment issues.

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Abstract:

Adaptation to the new environment is critical for international students’ successful engagement with their learning at university. Identifying factors that influence their adaptation will be of great significance to help improve their adjustment. This paper critically reviews previous literature that investigated issues that hinder international undergraduate students’ adaptation at university. The literature search was carried out across four databases, i.e. Education Resources Information Centre (ERIC), British Education Index (BEI), Australian Education Index (AEI) and Scopus, by drawing on techniques adopted in both systematic literature review and naturalistic literature review. The problems identified in the literature are categorized into five groups: personal psychological issues, academic issues, socio-cultural issues, general living issues and English language proficiency, among which English language proficiency, financial problem, academic progress and homesickness seem to face most international students, though there has not been a consensus yet among researchers about the magnitude of these problems.

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