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Title: An exploration of cross-cultural adaptation in the context of European student mobility
Author: Beaven, Ana Maria G.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 3599
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2012
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This study explores cross-cultural adaptation in the context of European student mobility. It shows how the individual journeys of sojourners can be extremely varied, and are affected by internal and external factors, such as motivations, expectations, personality, coping strategies, skills, characteristics of the environment, and chance, among others. This longitudinal qualitative study follows a cohort of 21 Italian university students from before their departure to a number of European destinations, to their return back home. The data collected was in the form of interviews and weekly “diary-tables”, used to create graphs representing the ups and down of the individual experiences. In terms of the research findings, I have shown how the complexities of the adaptation process can be adequately understood within a model that caters for that complexity, while showing that this type of experience can be situated within the perspective of life changes. Anderson’s (1994) model seems particularly suitable in this context. I have also shown that European student mobility has changed since it was set up in 1987, and that increasing numbers of mobile students, the rise of instruction through the medium of English in many HE institutions, globalisation and technology, have changed the landscape within which these students move. Finally, I have shown how residence abroad does not necessarily bring enhanced intercultural skills, although these can be encouraged by providing the students with the concepts and language to describe their experiences, and opportunities for reflection before, during and after the experience abroad. This is the area in which HE institutions in Europe can play a significant role.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB2300 Higher Education