Perceptions of culture shock of international students at Tennessee State University

Shirley Rankins Wingfield, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to measure the stress levels of international students studying at Tennessee State University. Cultural shock develops when students are placed in a new country, attending a new school with unfamiliar symbols of identification. The demographic variables in the study included age, sex, martial status, country, religion, degree sought, counseling, living arrangements, length of stay in the United States, number of countries visited, number of American friends, participation in American activities, grades, the degree of understanding spoken English, knowledge of the city, and satisfaction with American life. ^ The first influence measured by the survey was emotional symptoms which consisted of degrees of unhappiness, depression, problems concentrating, and worrying. The second influence measured by the survey was physical symptoms which consisted of headaches, sickness, stomachaches, and absent-mindedness. The third influence measured by the survey was behavior symptoms which consisted of degrees of feeling different, suicide thoughts, and laziness. The fourth influence measured by the survey was attitudinal symptoms which consisted of degrees of nervousness, not understanding what was going on, stubbornness, and having a complex about Americans. ^ A sign and table was set up in the university's campus center inviting international students to participate in the survey. Ninety-nine students elected to complete the survey. ^ The study showed no significant difference among age, sex, martial status, religion, counseling, living arrangements, knowledge of the city, participation in American activities, having American friends, communication skills, degree being sought, ability to speak English, orientation, length of stay in the United States, and emotional, physical, behavioral, or attitudinal symptoms. There was a statistically significant difference in grades and emotional symptoms. There was a statistically significant difference in satisfaction with American life and emotional and physical symptoms. There was a statistically significant difference in having a counselor and behavioral symptoms. There was a statistically significant difference in English speaking skills and behavioral and attitudinal symptoms. There was a statistically significant difference in religion and attitudinal symptoms. ^

Subject Area

Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Psychology, Behavioral|Speech Communication

Recommended Citation

Shirley Rankins Wingfield, "Perceptions of culture shock of international students at Tennessee State University" (2000). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3007592.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3007592

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