Effects of Combined Economic and Linguistic Backgrounds on the Adjustment Process of International Undergraduate Students at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Virginia Tech


This study had three main purposes: (a) to determine whether there is a linear relationship between international undergraduate (IU) students' adaptation and time at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), (b) to examine the effects of IU students' combined economic and linguistic backgrounds on their adaptation experience at Virginia Tech, (c) to determine the u-shaped curve model's effectiveness in explaining the adaptation experience of IU students from different backgrounds.

The findings of this study could not be used to justify either a linear or a curvilinear relationship between time and IU students' adaptation. A difference in adaptation was found between IU students with two and four years at Virginia Tech based on their linguistic background differences, but no differences were found in regard to their economic background differences. A correlation analysis suggested a relationship between adaptation and the support IU students received while at Virginia Tech. Nevertheless, the most important finding is the fact that the existing models of IU students' adaptation do not adequately explain their adaptation experience. This study suggests that future research should concentrate on determining the relationship between IU students' adaptation and the adequacy of support they received.



International Undergraduate Students, Adjustment Experience, Support, College, U-Shape Curve Model, Adaptation