Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online)

Cultural Adjustment Experiences Saudi Women International Graduate Students Studying First Time in a Mixed-Gender Environment at a United States University
Dr. Barbara N. Young (Corresponding author), Dr. Laura Clark

Abstract
The qualitative study investigated the cultural adjustment experiences of Saudi Women International Graduate Students studying for the first time in a mixed-gender environment in the United States. Questions for the study invited the Saudi women to share prior expectations about coming to study in the United States compared to the reality of their experiences as international students. They discussed what they most and least enjoyed about studying and living in the US cultural differences, acculturative stress, and cultural adjustment at different time periods, English proficiency, social support, and communication / relationships with Americans. Themes emerged from the qualitative data analysis coding process that indicated their acculturation process within the psychosocial and academic contexts was most impacted by the significant influence that the female student’s cultural identity had on the experience of being in a non-segregated, mixed-gender social and academic environment for the first time.

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