Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Karen Blanchard


Globalization, an increase in international mobility through international migration, is not limited to race, nationality or ethnicity. The world is an increasingly expanding canvas even as it continues to shrink as people capitalize on more and more technology, which brings us closer as people through the internet. Today, more people have the ability to travel and they are taking the opportunity to explore alternative career opportunities.

This capstone research paper seeks to answer the following question: “does a international migration create a shift in intercultural awareness for African American women living in Asia and the Middle East?” and examines whether culture shock, adjustment, adaptation, and identity influences how African American women make the transition to living abroad in South Korea and the United Arab of Emirates. The research sample consists of six African American women; three living in South Korea and three living in the United Arab of Emirates. The women were interviewed about their experience with culture shock, changes in their perceptions, beliefs, and values as it relates to moving abroad as English as a second language (ESL) teachers.

This research paper explored the motiving factors for African American female expatriates adjusting to their host countries. The participants evaluated their adaptation, identity, experience, common bonds, and perceptions. Through this exploration, there was an apparent intercultural shift among the participants in terms of value and perception. Based on the research there is a definite need for more research on self-initiated expats who are moving abroad in the field of teaching, especially in ESL, and a need to explore theoretical frameworks around cultural adaptation and the adjustment of African American expatriates.


African American Studies | Ethnic Studies | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Organization Development | Other International and Area Studies | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Women's Studies