Conceptualizing intercultural adaptation development in students of international training programs in higher education

Conceptualizing intercultural adaptation development in students of international training programs in higher education

Luong Minh Phuong Faculty of International Studies, Hanoi University
Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Vietnam National University Hanoi
Nguyen Thi My Trinh The Vietnam National Institute of Educational Sciences
Student intercultural adaptation in higher education has been extensively studied throughout the world, primarily from socio-cultural and psychological perspectives. This paper draws on recognition, agency and transformative learning theories to develop a conceptual framework of intercultural adaptation in students of international training programs in higher education. Firstly, it articulates intercultural adaptation issues that have been presented in the recent literature. Secondly, it conceptualizes “intercultural adaptation” in student self-transformation through exercising their “needs-response agency” and “agency for becoming” that is shaped by structural and affective recognition in ecological circumstances. Accordingly, the needs-response agency is manifested in students’ intentions and actions in response to structural contexts in terms of international curriculum, culturally responsive pedagogy, intercultural support policies and extra-curricular programs. Meanwhile, agency for becoming is exhibited in self-transformation to become more interculturally adaptable through future aspirations and goals, agentive access to available resources and support and a stimulating environment. The paper concludes by arguing for a critical orientation towards transformed agency through structural and affective recognition as a worthwhile means of achieving effective intercultural adaptation in students of international training programs in higher education.
Intercultural adaptation
recognition theory
transformative learning
international training programs
higher education

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