Intercultural Adaptation of Chinese Students in Finland - The Case of Aalto University

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School of Business | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Management and International Business (MIB)
This paper aims to explore factors that influence intercultural adaptation of Chinese students in the Finnish context. There are researches regarding international students’ experience in Finland, but most of them focus on employability of international students or internationalization of the education institutions. There is limit research is done from the perspective of international students and take ethnic group as an influential factor of cross-cultural adaptation process into consideration This study focuses on how Chinese students in Aalto University adjust or integrate into Finnish society interculturally. Research Question is How do personal and environmental factors discourage or motivate Chinese students to adapt into Finnish society? With figuring out the factors that influence Chinese students’ intercultural adjustment and integration, this study will help Chinese students improve their overall experience in Finland and make Aalto University a better and competitive place for international students to study in. This paper applies Kim’s cross-cultural adaptation theory as theoretical framework, studying Chinese students’ cross-cultural adaptation processes from six dimensions, including host communication competence, host social communication, ethnic social communication, the host environment, individuals’ predisposition, and intercultural transformation. This study uses qualitative research, choosing a case study and using narrative analysis to get insightful feelings and thoughts from students’ prospect of view. The findings show that personal factors of Chinese students motivate their cross-cultural adaptation by facilitating their communication with host natives, whereas environmental factors, especially low host receptivity that precepted by Chinese students, tend to discourage their cross-cultural adaptation by keeping Chinese students from deep interaction with host natives.
Thesis advisor
Lu, Wei
Chinese students, cross-cultural adaptation, international students, integration, adjustment
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