Year of Graduation
Sociocultural Adaptation and Its Triggers among International Students in the Context of Germany
Foreign Languages and Intercultural Communication
All throughout human history people tended to leave their motherlands and explore the outer world. And this trend is relevant especially nowadays, in our globalized world, which influenced all spheres of our lives, especially the system of education. Germany is one of the most popular countries in the European Union for international students. According to DAAD and DZHW, in 2017 there were more than 13% of international students in German universities, and in some educational institutions this rate surpasses 50%. Therefore, it is of a high relevance to investigate how the international students adapt in Germany and their host universities, which difficulties they face and what factors influence their adaptation. In our research we will focus on the aspect of sociocultural adaptation of international students in Germany, both Bildungsausländer, or exchange students, and Bildungsinländer, or full degree students. It is important to emphasize that previous research was mainly focused only on academic adaptation of students as well as on separate elements of sociocultural adjustment, such as culture shock. Thus, the purpose of the study is to fill in the research gap by defining the factors that impact the sociocultural adaptation of international students in Germany as a whole. In our research both qualitative and quantitative methods are applied, which include semi-structured interviews with international students and a self-administered online survey. Through these methods it was found out that there is a strong correlation between the adaptation level and such variables as language proficiency, ecological adaptation and other. This study has a practical application as it can be used to create orientation, adaptation and other intervention programs for international students at German universities. To be more precise, this study will be used by the Karlshochschule International University in Karlsruhe to compose a new orientation program for its foreign students.