Publication Date

2002

Abstract

In Thailand, having a Western education is valuable. The United States of America (USA) is one of the most popular Western countries that Thai students go to every year. These students have to adjust to life in a new environment when they move to a new place. Graduate study is demanding work; it takes dedication and a strong will to work hard in order to be successful. Doing graduate study is even more difficult for foreign students who do not use English as the first language. As a graduate student, I experienced so many challenging times during the adjustment period. I wondered what kind of challenges faced by other Thai students and what to do to achieve a proper preparation. Individual face-to-face interviews were conducted with former students in the USA in order to learn firsthand from their experience as graduate students. The research focuses on details of challenges during the adjustment period in order to collect useful suggestions for future preparation. This research found that participants were not very well prepared for life in the USA, either as a student or practically. Most participants had adjustment difficulties in physical adjustment/adjusting to living: being responsible for everything in daily activities consisted mostly in doing housework, dealing with roommate(s), and being independent. The second concerns were studying and communication problems: studying in a different educational system, class participation and communicating in English.

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