Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

David Shallenberger


SIT Graduate Institute (SIT) is an academic arm of World Learning Inc. (World Learning), an international NGO with offices and networks throughout the world. Students come from all over the world to SIT’s campus in Vermont to study in one of two graduate programs, either the Program for Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management (PIM) or the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program.

The stages and strategies of how international PIM students adjust to their one academic year of coursework at SIT has been examined in other literature. The purpose of this report is to expand on that existing literature by generally examining the adjustment of students to SIT during their coursework phase: this includes domestic, international, PIM, and MAT students.

A phenomenological approach is taken toward this research to best document the experience of student adjustment at SIT. The examination and reporting of the adjustment experience will hopefully contribute to a better understanding of what students think about the SIT experience and how best to improve existing programs at SIT to fit into that process of adjustment.

Unlike previous research, this report does not examine the culture shock curve of students or rely on any generalizations about countries, cultures, age, or other categories. Rather, it focuses on the mission of SIT as it pertains to the role of education in globalization. SIT has been adapting to the contemporary demands of global society and this has formed an institution with an intercultural, global mission. Should any generalization be drawn from this research, it would be that the combination of an intellectual and managerial culture in the educational environment at SIT has aided student adjustment for those students that properly understood SIT’s mission before coming to the institution.


International and Intercultural Communication | Social Psychology


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