Authors de Borja Martin-Garrido, Francisco , MORALES FERNÁNDEZ, EMILIO, Vance, Charles , GARCÍA ALONSO, CARLOS
External publication No
Means Inted Proceedings
Scope Proceedings Paper
Nature Científica
Publication date 01/01/2017
ISI 000427401303034
Abstract Introduction: The Erasmus Programme (acronym of European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) is a student exchange programme that supports and facilitates the academic mobility of university students and professors within the member countries of the EU and other partner countries (Switzerland and Turkey). Approved by European Union for the 2014-2020 period, the new phase of the program is called Erasmus Plus, the new 14.7 billion euro catch-all framework programme for education, training, youth and sport. By 2013, three million students had taken part since the programme\'s inception in 1987. In 2012-13 alone, 270,000 took part, the most popular destinations being Spain, Germany, and France. Erasmus students represented five percent of European graduates as of 2012. There currently are more than 4,000 higher education institutions participating in Erasmus across the 37 countries involved in the Erasmus programme.\n One of the elements of the international exchange experience that is considered most valuable is the adjustment of a person to a different cultural context. Many researchers have pointed out that the experience of studying for a season in a different country is an enriching experience that substantially improves personal maturity and increases the professional growth of students, opening their minds to new experiences and possibilities. An interesting question that has received little empirical analysis is the relationship between thinking styles of international students and their adjustment to the cultural context, which enables them to carry out their valuable experiential learning.\n Objectives: This work aims to analyse the relationship between thinking styles and levels of adjustment to the cultural context in a sample of international university students in Andalusia (Spain). It is hypothesized that some thinking styles are related to higher degrees of adjustment than others.\n Methodology: To analyse the degree of student cultural adjustment, a questionnaire was constructed based on three different complementary scales: Psychological Adjustment Scale (nine items) using the model developed by Van Oudenhoven et al. (2003); Sociocultural Adjustment Scale (SCAS) by Ward and Kennedy (1989), using the 22 most relevant items of the questionnaire; and the Expatriate Adjustment Scale by Black and Stephens (1989) for general, interaction and work adjustment (14 items). The questionnaire was completed by 97 international undergraduate students during their international exchange experiences abroad.\n Results: In this work the profile of international students with different combinations of Thinking Styles as well as their levels of psychological, sociocultural, and expatriate adjustment was analysed. The total sample of international student has been segmented into five groups, considering the Non-Linear and Linear Thinking Styles combination. Finally, the existence of statistically significant differences of adjustment among Thinking Styles groups was analysed applying multivariate analysis techniques.\n Conclusions: The results confirm the existence of some Thinking Styles associated with high levels of adjustment and others associated with medium levels of adjustment. It also has been possible to point out the factors that, in this sample of international students, have more impact on various types of international adjustment.
Keywords Thinking styles; adjustment; undergraduate education; International students
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