This study aims to investigate international students’ cultural adjustment, academic satisfaction and turnover intentions using ecological systems perspective and explores factors that affect academic success and turnover by exploring three stages: arrival, adjustment and adaptation.
The sample consists of 208 international students enrolled at a mid-Western university in the USA. Confirmatory factor analysis, structural equation modeling and mediational analyses were used to test hypotheses.
Findings indicate that self-efficacy, as a pre-sojourn characteristic, affects adjustment variables inclusive of cultural adjustment, affecting academic satisfaction and turnover intentions. Adjustment variables (coping, cultural adjustment and organizational support) mediated relationships between self-efficacy and turnover intentions.
The proposed model moves the research forward by examining an ecological systems framework describing how individual, social, academic, cultural and institutional factors function in supporting international students’ transitions. Results may be generalizable to other large US universities with varying dynamics and resources available (or not) for international students.
Given the challenges international students face in the USA in adapting to both new culture and academic setting, it is imperative to identify what elements of their transition and academic environment predict academic success. This is one of the first studies testing the propositions derived from Schartner and Young’s (2016) model.
Gopalan, N., Beutell, N. and Middlemiss, W. (2019), "International students’ academic satisfaction and turnover intentions: Testing a model of arrival, adjustment, and adaptation variables", Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 533-548. https://doi.org/10.1108/QAE-01-2019-0001Download as .RIS
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