As the forces of globalization take effect across the globe, many students are forced to attend higher learning institutions in different countries. These students experience varying technological and social changes in their new areas of residence, which they have to assimilate in coping with others. As students spend time in the host countries, they develop behaviors that are similar to the locals. This leads to a problem of reentry into their original cultures after their studies. Students are faced with an insurmountable dilemma on the best ways to construct and make sense of the reentry model, an approach that tries to freeze the host and home cultures, leading to some levels of reverse culture shock and deculturation (Wedin, 2010). However, research has shown that students to not experience the culture shock at the same level. For instance, researchers have found that deculturation does not occur in a significant group of returnees. This is because students may not have enough time to adapt to the new culture in the host country; the longer the students stay in a host country, the higher the possibility of deculturation (Wedin, 2010). Moreover, there are possibilities that individuals may suppress the deculturation effect when they realize they have to return to their home countries after accomplishing their studies, which makes them to attach to their native cultures and ignore the new cultures. Importantly, cultures are not lost to their entirety. The result is that as individuals strive to construct their identities in different cultural contexts, they are forced to construct a different culture from the native and host cultures, which may not suggest the loss of the native culture (Wedin, 2010). Therefore, reverse cultural shock is prevalent among students studying abroad when they return home with a new culture that bridges the gap between the host and the native cultures, making reentry into their native culture strenuous.
Sahin (2010) observed that reentry is both a challenging and an exciting adjustment into the native culture for students studying away from their home countries. Psychological factors have a huge role to play in affecting their adjustments into the native culture, considering that the construction of the self is critical in helping individuals to understand their own cultural views in addition to their host cultural perspectives (Sahin, 2010).The degree of cultural assimilation, which contributes to cultural shock, is related to the social support the individual gets in the host and home countries. In other words, an interdependent individual will tend to rely more on groups and other social networks to gain social satisfaction and feel secure in their new environment. The strong social networks will erode the native cultures in the individual as he/she tries to assimilate to the new social networks. The effect is that as the individual returns home, he/she experiences strong cultural shock and deculturation effects, considering the deep absorption into the host culture. The main drive behind culture shock is that, not only has the individual studying abroad changed due to the new social structures and life in the host countries, but also their friends and families back at home have considerably changed with time since they left (Sahin, 2010). Therefore, the individual feel out-of-place for some time before they strive to reenter their native cultures and merge with heir friends and families who have changed over time since their departure.
There are numerous variables related to reverse culture shock, one of which is violation of expectations of returnees in their native homes. While many expect to find the place as they left it after several years, they are surprised to learn the case is not as they thought, as things have considerably transformed and changed with time. They have to struggle to reenter their respective social groups back at home, which results in reentry problems. According to the Expectation Violation Theory, when an individual reaches the maximum threshold of their expectations, those expectations are violated. Assuming that individuals will have a good degree to tolerate ambiguities and violations of some social norms, incase the threshold reaches the maximum point, a violation occurs, leading to increased cognitive arousal and disturbances in the life of the individuals (Mooradian, 2004). Considering individuals have to show their behaviors depending on norms and values, and that the norms and values are strongly based on an environment, social cultures and the history of the individual, such returnees have assimilated different norms and values depending on their host environment, which contradicts their native cultures, resulting into reverse culture shock (Huff, 2009).
There is vast literature focusing on cultural readjustment of sojourners after they return home from abroad. Most of the prior studies have emphasized on “deculturation” and reverse culture shock experienced by individuals after they return home from abroad (Xia, 2009; Wang, 2007; Gaw, 2009; Constantinian & Guinyard, 2008). Culture shock has generally been defined as the feeling of discomfort experienced by an individual when trying to adjust to a new, unfamiliar cultural environment. On the other hand, reverse culture shock occurs when an individual experiences difficulties in the process of re-adjustment to home culture after returning from abroad. In a study of high school returnees and their degree of reverse culture shock, (Gaw, 2009) observed that because the teens were not similar to the others in their home countries, they struggled to conform to their native cultures. Moreover, the study established that the struggle resulted in rejections by their resident peers with the effect been serious reverse culture shocks that affected their studies and performance in school (Gaw, 2009). The study illustrated the serious effects of reverse culture shock on students.
Some researchers such as Gaw (2009) and Wang (2007) have found that individuals may experience much more difficulties when readjusting to home environment after returning from abroad than when adjusting to a new culture abroad. Chang found that one of the reasons why returnees experience difficulties is that their families, coworkers and friends usually find the changes in the sojourners’ behaviors, interaction rules and attitudes that have been acquired from foreign culture abroad to be disruptive. Church (2008) found that sojourners experience difficulties in readjustment to home environment since they find the home culture has changed in social, linguistic, religious practices, relations and family orientations. As well, sojourners often find that the original culture has changed in terms of physical characteristics.
As Davis et al (2008) noted, others’ perceptions towards sojourners may have changed given the assumption that the sojourners have been living in a different, influential culture abroad. As Davis et al (2008) explain, there may be a portion of history that is not shared by the local and the foreign culture as well as a shift of values between the cultures. Such differences are expected to influence the behaviors of individuals while living in the foreign culture. Davis et al (2008) suggest that readjustment of sojourners to home environment is influenced by the group that has been left, in the sense that those who are left try to define the behavior of returnees based on the foreign culture. Importantly, most studies have shown that sojourners who adjust to foreign culture successfully experience the greatest difficulties while trying to readjust to the original culture. As Huff (2009) explains, many returnees experience additional pressure since they do not expect to have a need to readjust to the home culture. Huff (2009) noted that many sojourners experience difficulties while trying to adjust their lives in matters such as jobs, finances, housing and schools. Huff (2009) found that returnees generally find themselves as changed and unique from those that had been left due to their cultural experience. They usually develop new perception of themselves and home culture especially due to the separation. In addition, the returnees find that their understanding of the foreign culture has changed during the visit.
While in the international visit, sojourners have to adapt to the foreign culture or maintain their home culture. As Callahan Mendelson, Citron and La Brack, (2006) explain, sojourners may find a way of integrating the host and the home cultures, they may employ strategies to avoid adopting the host culture or they may assimilate the host culture completely. Callahan et al (2006) found that the strategies adopted by a sojourner may affect his/her experience of identity shift. An identity shift occurs when an individual is trying to integrate the home and host culture. On the other hand, a sojourner may experience an affirmative identity shift by trying to stick to the home culture and avoiding assimilation to the host culture. By contrast, an individual experiences an additive identity shift by choosing to completely adopt the host culture and avoid the influence of the home culture. As Rogers and Ward (2007) noted, sojourner who completely assimilate to the host culture usually experience difficulties upon reentry. In this sense, the experiences of returnees have been explained in terms of the cultural identity shifts they experience while trying to adopt their home culture after reentry. In other words, the cultural identity shifts experienced while in the international visit influences the experiences of sojourners as they try to adapt to their home culture.
However, a study conducted by Ford (as cited in Sahin, 2010, p. 82) showed that not all returnees experience difficulties while trying to readjust to their home culture. Ford found that communication between a student and family members and friends usually affects the ability for the student to readjust to the home culture after returning back. According to Ford, the level and frequency of communication may have influence on whether a sojourner has a positive or a negative experience while trying to readjust to the home culture. In essence, Ford tries to find problems in literature that tries to portray cultural reentry as a very difficult experience. As well, Uehara (2008) found that reentry experience is not as bad as it is portrayed in most studies. Rather, reverse culture shock comprises of experiences that are good for an individual’s growth. In a study that was conducted on Japanese students after return from studies in foreign nations, Wedin (2010) concluded that it is wrong to presume that all sojourners have negative experiences while trying to adjust to the home culture after reentry.
Ford, Miyamoto and Kuhlman (2008) give an example of a student who was allowed by family members and friends to have a positive experience after a reentry to manila from US. Although the student had to readjust to certain norms and practices, he did not experience extreme difficulties while trying to communicate with his family members and friends. In fact, many of his friends commented that he was more fluent while speaking the native languages than most people of his generation. This helped him to affiliate with the local culture, more than he expected after his 7 years stay in US. Constantinian and Guinyard (2008) also note that the reentry experience is different for every returnee and it is wrong to generalize that all sojourner have negative experiences. Also, Barna (2007) concludes that it is wrong to generalize that all sojourners have that same experiences after returning back home from an international visit. Adler (2005) emphasizes on the role of cultural environment in influencing an individual’s experience. According to Adler (2005), the members of a cultural group can make it easy or difficult for a returnee to readjust to the home culture. Adler (2005) tries to demystify the notion that all sojourners experience difficulties while to trying to readjust to home culture after returning home.
Despite the fact that returnees do not have difficult experiences while trying to readjust to the home culture, most researchers have shown that sojourners experience deculturation while assimilating to the foreign culture and reculturation while trying to readjust to the home culture. Many scholars assume that deculturation occurs due to the fact that sojourners have immersed into the host culture and they are likely to forget how to behave according to their home culture. Carlisle-Frank (2006), for instance, has documented that sojourners experience deculturation while in an international visit. Carlisle-Frank (2006) found that American managers who have worked abroad for six months to five years experience difficulties while trying to readjust to their home culture due to the cultural identity changes that they experience in the host countries. Chapman & Davis (2007) found that American students who spent a long time while studying abroad experienced isolation and other difficulties after returning to the local schools due to the perceived inferiority of the home culture by peer.
Contrary to most studies, Huff (2009) found that returnees can integrate both the host and home cultural systems since they are able to see the routine day-to-day activities carried out by people in the home country. Huff (2009) concluded that sojourners usually question and reinterpreted the accepted understandings of social roles, cultural value symbols, foreign policies and political terms after returning home. As well, Miyamoto and Kuhlman (2008) found that after reentry, returnees may look at their local cultures and social systems and reevaluate their understandings on the dynamics of the social systems in their home culture. Therefore, Miyamoto and Kuhlman (2008) argue that not all sojourners have similar negative experiences after returning back home. In the study conduced by Callahan (as cited in Miyamoto and Kuhlman, 2008, p. 112) on missionaries who had returned from an international visit, it was found that sojourners do not simply assimilate the foreign culture; rather they integrate the combined experiences of the home and the host culture. In fact, Callahan (as cited in Miyamoto and Kuhlman, 2008, p. 112) found that none of his respondents had lost his/her home culture or had experienced compete deculturation. 85 percent of the respondents indicated that they had experienced little or no problems while trying readjusting to their home culture after returning back.
According to Wang (2007), sojourners may even have positive experiences after returning back from an international visit. The returnees may find the visit useful for the purpose of reflecting on good experiences abroad. Other studies have shown that there are other factors that can influence an individual’s experience after returning back home from an international visit. In a study conducted by Johnson (as cited in Wang, 2007, p. 42), it was shown that the media usually plays a great role in reducing difficulties experienced by returnees while readjusting to the home culture. Johnson found that news media allows sojourners to re-familiarize with the home culture when in an international visit and after going back home. In the study conducted by Chang (as cited in Sahin, 2010, p. 88), an example is given of a Chinese student who did not experience difficulties in readjusting to the home culture after spending several years in US. The student could watch Chinese television programs online, which made him to frequently re-familiarize himself with the home culture. Thus, studies have shown that factors such as media and technology can influence cultural experiences of an individual after returning home an international visit.
Generally, the prior studies on the experience of sojourners while trying to fit themselves in the home environment after spending some time abroad have given contrasting results. Despite the fact that most studies have tried to show that all returnees experience cultural shock after returning from abroad, several studies have shown contrasting results. It is essential to note that advancement in technology in the recent years may have a great impact on the cultural experiences of the returnees. Advancement in technology has led to improvement in modes of communication and thus, most people are currently able to re-familiarize with the home culture while abroad. In this regard, current research is needed in this area to determine the experiences of sojourners after reentry. This study tries to fill this gap by examining the experiences of students after returning home from.
The central aim of this study is to identify and to describe the experiences of individuals have returned home from studying abroad.
Research strategy influences the design and gives an opportunity for the researcher to examine how each of the various available approaches may limit or contribute to his/her study.
Depending on the nature of a study, the researcher may adopt either qualitative or quantitative approaches or both (Purty, 2011). Qualitative tools are based on content analysis, among other things, after which the results are presented in a non-numerical format. This approach helps the researcher to gain a deep insight into the topic of study. On the other hand, quantitative tools generally borrow from physical sciences in that they are structured to analyse data collected rather than views and perceptions (Purty, 2011).
The researcher plans to adopt a naturalistic approach so as to apply the topic of this study in specified contextual settings and also due to the probing nature of the study topic. To achieve the objective for this study, the researcher opts for a qualitative approach defined as a “Sequential Exploratory Strategy.” This strategy provides a very flexible approach in collecting and analysing data.
The research will be both ethnographic and desk-based. Scholarly articles and books on experiences of individuals while trying to adjust to home culture after spending some time studying abroad will be examined. Additionally, primary data on the same topic will be collected using interviews.
This research project will rely on two basic phases; a conceptualisation and an empirical phase. In the conceptualisation phase, relevant literature related to the topic of study will be reviewed and the tools of data collection, interview schedules, developed. During the empirical phase, the required data for the research will be collected from the sections selected. During this phase the data collected will be analysed according to content validity as per the set objective of the research. The process of collecting data will start with addressing traditional ethical issues of access, acceptance, privacy, and confidentiality. The researcher will seek permission from all relevant institutions in the places where data will be collected. The researcher will also take initiative to inform participants about the purpose and aims of the research so that they will be able to prepare for the interviews.
Primary data for the study will be collected from students from local colleges and universities in the US who have spent some time studying abroad. The researcher does not have capacity to conduct study in all colleges and universities in the US. Thus, a sizeable and manageable segment of the population will be identified through sampling process.
The researcher targets to conduct interviews on 50 to 70 students in 20 local colleges and universities. The researcher will use simple random method of sampling to choose the institutions from which the sample would be drawn in the US.
Several semi-structured interviews will be conducted to explore the questions advanced for this study. Enquiry designs will be sent to the interviewees in the targeted colleges and universities ahead of interview date. Then interview sessions will be flexible and will be planned based on each interviewee’s availability. The interview sessions will be recorded on tape and the most important information highlighted by the participants will be noted. The researcher will use open-ended questions since this will help to obtain extensive information related to the topic of study.
The researcher will gather part of the information needed for the study through documentary sources, especially electronic journals describing the experiences of students who have returned home from a foreign nation to take studies. Documentary sources, both physical and electronic, help to provide basic background information for a study. Thus they will greatly help the researcher to make a study design.
The research will be conducted on during the month of November 2013. Sampling the responses, analyzing the data and writing a report of the findings will be done between December 2013 and January 2014. This is shown in the schedule below:
|October 2013||November 2013||November 2013||November 2013||December, 2013/ January, 2014|
|Seeking permission, preparing|
|Sample selection and conducting of interviews|
Table 1: Research schedule
The following is an approximate budget for the research Project Period:
|Items||Amount per sub-item ($)||Cost ($)|
|2 Research Assistants||20 per person||40|
|Cost of production of interview schedules||0.2 per interview schedule||16|
|Subscription to internet libraries||20|
|Cost of production of final documents||40|
|10% allowance for fluctuations||14|
|Total Cost ($)||158|
The researcher estimates that she will incur a cost of $10 in purchasing stationary items, such as writing materials, pens and notebooks.
The cost of typing and photocopying of the interview schedules to be used in collecting first hand data is estimated at $16
The researcher expects to incur an approximate of $18 travelling expenses during the process of primary data collection.
The researcher will hire two persons to assist in the process of collecting primary data. Their role will be to administer the interviews. Involving assistants will help to reduce time period required to collect the primary data. Each of the assistants will be paid $20.
The researcher expects to incur subscription costs to internet libraries during the process searching information related to the topic of the study. The internet subscription cost is estimated at $20
Typing, photocopying and binding costs for the final document are estimated at $40.
There are several limitations and assumptions that relate to this study. First, the researcher has limited capacity to carry out research on students in colleges and universities from diversified geographical areas in US and thus, the study will be conducted in institutions from the same region in the US. Thus, it is not quite evident that the sample to be used in the study will be typical of the whole population of study. Another major challenge that the researcher might face is time available to access to the different colleges and universities institutions to conduct interviews on the targeted participants.
This research will shed more light regarding the experienced of students whelk trying to readjust to the home culture after spending some time studying abroad. This proposal report seeks to unravel the difficulties and challenges as well as positive experiences facing returnees, after reentry. Generally, the research will augment the existing literature on the study topic and enhance understanding of the topic.
Adler, N. J. (2005). Re-entry: Managing cross-cultural transitions. Group & Organizational Studies, 6, 341–356.
Barna, L. M. (2007). How culture shock affects communication. Communication, 5(1), 1-18
Carlisle-Frank, P. L. (2006).The relocation experience: Analysis of factors thought to influence adjustment to transition. Psych Rep, 70, 835–838.
Chapman, D. E., & Davis, D. A. C. (2007). Cultural Costs of Studying Abroad: Relationships
Between Culture Shock, Re-Entry Shock & Social Support Networks in Japanese Student Sojourners. Bulletin of Hijiyama University 13, 85-109.
Christofi, V. & Thompsonm, C. L. (2007). You Cannot Go Home Again: A Phenomenological
Investigation of Returning to the Sojourn Country after Studying Abroad. Journal of Counseling & Development, Winter, 85
Constantinian, P. M. & Guinyard, C. A. (2008). Personal Transformation and Readjustment in
Homecoming. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy; 22(3), 50-60, 11
Church, A. T. (2008). Sojourner adjustment. Psychological Bulletin, 91, 540–572.
Davis, D., Chapman, D., Bohlin, B. Jaworski, B., Walley, C., Barton, D. & Ebner, N. (2008).
Reverse Culture Shock: A Comparison of United States and Japanese Students’ Experiences Returning from a Study Abroad Sojourn. Conference Papers — National Communication Association, 1, 36
Gaw, K. F. (2009). Reverse culture shock in students returning from overseas. Int J Intercul
Relat, 24(1), 83-104
Huff, J. L. (2009). Parental attachment, reverse culture shock, perceived social support, and
college adjustment of missionary children. Journal of Psychology & Theology 29(3), 8
Mendelson, V., Citron, J. L., & La Brack, B. (2006). Bringing it home: Multifaceted
support for returning education abroad students. International Educator, 15,
Miyamoto, Y. & Kuhlman, N. (2008). Ameliorating culture shock in Japanese expatriate
children in the US. Int J Intercul Rela, 25(1), 21-40.
Purty, A. (2011). Research Methodology. Indian Journal of Medical Specialities, 2(2), 31-55
Rogers, J. & Ward, C. (2007). Expectation-experience discrepancies and psychological adjustment during cross-cultural reentry. Int J Intercul Rela, 17, 185–196.
Sahin, N. H. (2010). Re-entry and the Academic and Psychological Problems of the Second
Generation. Psychology & Developing Societies, 2 (2), 165-182.
Uehara, A. (2008). The nature of American student reentry adjustment and perceptions of the
sojourn experience. Int J Intercul Rela, 10 (4), 415-438.
Wang, M. M. (2007). Reentry and reverse culture shock. Kenneth Cushner/Richard W.
Brislin: Improving intercultural interactions. Modules for Cross-Cultural
Training Programs, 2, 109-128.
Wedin, B.. (2010). The Cultural Implications of Coming Home. International Journal of
Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, 5(5), 387-397
Xia, J. (2009). Analysis of Impact of Culture Shock on Individual Psychology. International
Journal of Psychological Studies, 1(2), 97
PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH GRADE VALLEY TODAY AND GET AN AMAZING DISCOUNT