Major Papers


Chinese international students, acculturative stress, acculturation, adjustment stress, culture shock, challenges of studying abroad


Chinese international students in English-speaking countries experience an array of culturally-based stressors while adjusting to different pedagogical styles and cultural environments. Consequently, Chinese international students experience substantial levels of acculturative stress. Because this is a relatively new phenomenon, at least with respect to scale, insufficient research has been done on developing effective programs to address this issue. Thus, the current study conducts a literature review on Chinese international students’ experiences and challenges to determine the possible causes of the acculturative stress. Based on this research, it is clear that the acculturative stress is often a result of insufficient English, cultural shock, academic difficulties, limited integration with domestic peers, and perceived discrimination. Future research should explore the factors of acculturative stress focusing on the influence of English proficiency, cultural adaptation, and learning problems. In addition, a series of recommendations are provided for faculties, institutions, and students.

Primary Advisor

Zuochen Zhang

Program Reader

Susan M. Holloway

Degree Name

Master of Education



Document Type

Major Research Paper