Title

Reentry Workshop for International Students from East Asia

Publication Date

2009

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Kevin Brennan

Abstract

Although much attention is given to international students’ initial cultural adjustment issues when they first arrive in the U.S., not much attention or information is provided for their reentry issues when they are returning to their home country. The purpose of this paper is to examine reentry challenges of international students and to create a reentry workshop for international students from East Asia, which can be implemented at any college or university.

This research explored the reentry experiences of 8 international students from East Asia (Japan, South Korea and China) who studied in the United States for one year or more and now reside in their home countries. The results of the questionnaire show that most returnees went through various reentry challenges. Two major challenges included a lack of understanding about their experiences in the U.S. from family and friends, and difficulties with native language and once familiar cultural norms in their home country. Furthermore, the research found that reentry culture shock is often more difficult than the initial culture shock experienced when they arrived in the U.S. Students tend to expect and accept difficulties in a different country. In contrast, reentry culture shock is often unexpected. Experiencing difficulties in a home country where they will stay most or the rest of their lives can be a very challenging prospect.

By using the results of the survey and existing reentry workshop ideas, the workshop is created for international students to reflect on their experiences in the U.S. and to learn useful reentry coping skills. The following key elements will be focused through the workshop and they are also listed as coping skills. They are 1. Have nice good-byes 2. Reflect on your experiences in the U.S. 3. Plan your future life 4. Be an expert of your country 5. Understand them first 6.

Look for others 7. Find a balance.

Disciplines

International and Comparative Education

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