International Students in Australia: Adjustment & Coping Skills Study - Research Paper

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1552 Words
Date:  2023-04-10

Research Questions

  • Do foreign students in Australia experience different social indicators due to the Australian socio-cultural structure?
  • What are the risks associated with the coping process for international students in the highlighted Australian universities?
  • What is the relationship between sojourner adjustment and the level of coping skills portrayed by each international student?
  • Has there been technological and internet use impacts on the coping behavior for the foreign students?

Aims and Field of Research

Diversified education programs in different nations have led to a rise in the number of foreign students (Riggio et al,, 2013). While there has been an increase in these international students, coping and integrating into the new foreign environments has become difficult (Altbach & Knight, 2007). Consequently, the study will highlight the following objectives:

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  • Understanding major concepts and issues of acculturation and integration of international students in Australia
  • Identifying and exploring major social indicators associated with the sojourner adjustment of international students
  • Determining the level of sojourner adjustment among the international students based on the two variables (social indicators and coping skills)
  • Assessing the psychological and sociocultural impacts of the sojourner adjustment on the influences of emotions on international students

Field of Research

The research will focus on international students at the university level. The preference for the research's field has been determined the study's nature and consideration of the allocated time and finances (Hahn & Kuhnen, 2013). In this case, the study's nature entails factors such as social networks, employment, social anxiety, safety, social interaction and interpersonal skills. Social networks can be used to measure the adjustment process and the level of coping skills attained by international students (Riggio et al., 2013). Social anxiety is common among international students; hence, it can be used as a measure of different ways that international students are handling their studies in Australia. Employment levels among the international students will also be used as a factor of determining the adjustment levels (Riggio et al,, 2013). Notably, students with social anxiety and psychological issues will find it hard to secure jobs in a foreign country.

Significance of the Research Like Social Indicators and Coping Skills

The enrollment of international students in Australia's universities has expanded recently with the change in socio-economic and political factors (Campbell et al., 2015). The research will focus on higher education in Australia while identifying various coping skills that have facilitated sojourner adjustment. Competent coping skills have led to a higher academic success rate in Australia compared to other countries (Anderson et al., 2016). The impact and integration of different cultures into Australia's academic structures can be identified through various social indicators.

Social indicators


Sojourner adjustment can lead to mental and physical health issues among international students. Notably, the changes in climate, diets, and social environment, among others could lead to adverse health reactions (Anderson et al., 2016). Deterioration in health could indicate a problem in the acculturation of students into the new environment. Additionally, sojourner adjustment could also impact on the students' psychological health due to issues such as depression and stress associated with cultural diversity in the learning institution (Campbell et al., 2015).

Life Satisfaction

Self-esteem, culture, and life experiences could directly affect life satisfaction among international students (Anderson et al., 2016). For instance, depression experienced through the acculturation process could easily affect self-esteem; hence, leading to lower satisfaction rates of international students in Australia. Importantly, life satisfaction is a social indicator that can be used to measure the rate of sojourner adjustment.


Financial stability among international students in Australia can be used as an indicator or measure of acculturation. While some international students are sponsored by organizations, most of them are self-sponsored; therefore, depicting financial stability (Pedersen et al., 2011).

General Motivation and Studies

Motivation can be used as a social indicator and entails the inspiration of students towards class attendance (Yu & Downing, 2012). International students encounter hardships while integrating with colleagues from different cultural backgrounds (Pan & Wong, 2011). Cases of high motivation and effective studies indicate successful sojourner adjustment.

Coping Skills

Being open-minded is part of the adaptive coping strategies (Russell, Rosenthal & Thomson, 2009). For instance, an open-minded student could join groups and clubs for international students will assist in the coping process. Australia has some of the best-rated universities internationally based on the quality of education, locations of institutions, professionals, and curriculum among others. Consequently, there have been an increased number of international students that have adopted competent coping skills to adjust in the new social environment (Hammer et al., 2013).

Acceptance is also a coping skill that could be used by international students in the sojourner adjustment process (Cetinkaya-Yildiz et al., 2011). Accepting the fact that the Australian socio-cultural environment is different will prepare the students mentally before experiencing the changes. Consequently, there will be a higher coping rate (Cetinkaya-Yildiz et al., 2011).

Methodology and Research Techniques

The participants in this study will entail a sample population of 150 international university students, studying in-campus at Victoria University located in Melbourne, Australia. The study will also engage in similar cases of studies from previous researches on sojourner adjustment to present a broad background on the literature review. However, the main research technique will include interviews through questionnaires on the sampled population. Notably, interviews in this situation will present a personal perspective of what the international students go through in Australia.

Facilities and Equipment Required

Facilities will entail the lecture rooms where the interview process can take place. Personal interviews will require a confidential place where they can share psychological and mental issues. The university's administration department or the department for international support services will require addressing the issue of permission to enter and interview the students at the said premises. The research will require equipment such as writing materials, files, and laptops to collect and record the data using SPSS.

Assessment of Risk and Protective Factors

There are various risks affecting the assimilation of Australian culture by foreign students. The study will assess some of the common risks affecting coping behaviors among international students. Importantly, international students are at risk of developing dysfunctional coping behavior since they are vulnerable to new environments (Lin, Ko & Wu, 2011). For instance, a foreign student could suffer from compulsive gambling. Notably, the gambling disorder entails recurrent problematic conduct that leads to gambling addiction. Foreign students often socialize to pass free time and make new friends as a coping technique. However, the socialization process could lead to assimilation into maladaptive coping behaviors such as gambling during their free time (Lin, Ko & Wu, 2011). Consequently, the research will assess this risk and present information on the most vulnerable students and ways of preventing the conduct.

The internet use disorder is also a risk that could have negative impacts on foreign students in Australia. Adjusting in the case of stress and depression, foreign students could engage in spending more time in the internet where they could find new friends, join social networks, or keep in touch with the families (Lin, Ko & Wu, 2011). However, if not regulated, students could suffer from the internet use disorder. Notably, the disorder entails pathological and excessive use of the internet (Lin, Ko & Wu, 2011). The students could adopt internet use for the acculturation process. However, excessive internet use is a risk that could have negative impacts on the foreign students. As a result, the study will identify internet use as one of the risk factors that could lead to maladaptive coping behavior.

Protective Factor

Mindfulness is a significant protective factor among international students who are developing various coping behaviors. Mindfulness involves paying attention to different environments while maintaining the present awareness of thoughts. Mindfulness will assist in protecting against risks such as internet use disorder and the gambling addiction.


Altbach, P., & Knight, J. (2007). The Internationalization of Higher Education: Motivations and Realities. Journal Of Studies In International Education, 11(3-4), 290-305. doi: 10.1177/1028315307303542

Anderson, J., Guan, Y., & Koc, Y. (2016). The academic adjustment scale: Measuring the adjustment of permanent resident or sojourner students. International Journal Of Intercultural Relations, 54, 68-76. doi: 10.1016/j.ijintrel.2016.07.006

Campbell, C., Bierman, K., & Molenaar, P. (2015). Individual Day-to-Day Process of Social Anxiety in Vulnerable College Students. Applied Developmental Science, 20(1), 1-15. doi: 10.1080/10888691.2015.1026594

Cetinkaya-Yildiz, E., Cakir, S., & Kondakci, Y. (2011). Psychological distress among international students in Turkey. International Journal Of Intercultural Relations, 35(5), 534-539. doi: 10.1016/j.ijintrel.2011.04.001

Hahn, R., & Kuhnen, M. (2013). Determinants of sustainability reporting: a review of results, trends, theory, and opportunities in an expanding field of research. Journal Of Cleaner Production, 59, 5-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.07.005

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Russell, J., Rosenthal, D., & Thomson, G. (2009). The international student experience:...

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