Academic success and academic culture shock: Do international students benefit from academic acculturation intervention?

Rory Elizabeth Senerchia, Salve Regina University


International education exchanges within higher education continue to rise each year and as a result, American Colleges and Universities are struggling to understand the implications of ‘internationalizing’ their campuses. In wanting to diversify their schools, the number of international students continues to rise but the expectations for both the international student and higher education have yet to be clearly defined. Adjustment needs for both the international student and the College and/or University must be thoroughly investigated. Therefore, this study sought to answer the question, "Is there a relationship between the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores, academic culture shock and academic success for international students enrolled in an MBA program within the United States?" The intention of this study, using a mixed-methods research procedure for collecting, analyzing, and converging both quantitative and qualitative data was to gain a better understanding of, as well as to identify correlations between, TOEFL scores, academic success and academic culture shock in order to recognize barriers faced by international students accepted into an American MBA program, barriers that may not be taken into account because of one’s TOEFL score. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected via two studies in the form of international students answering a Graduate Classroom Culture Scale, participating in interviews and participating in an academic culture course in order to determine if certain variables would affect an international student’s transition into an American MBA program. In addition, this study stressed the importance of understanding and defining the relationship between English language proficiency and academic success as an important factor to consider when admitting international students to a graduate program within the United States, as well as for institutions of higher learning understanding the role support services play in an international students overall success.

Subject Area

English as a Second Language|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Senerchia, Rory Elizabeth, "Academic success and academic culture shock: Do international students benefit from academic acculturation intervention?" (2015). Doctoral Dissertations. AAI3725285.