Pedagogical Features of the Adaptation Program for International Students

Abstract

One of the leading global trends in the development of higher education is internationalization, intensification of academic mobility of students and university professors. For Russia, the development of the export potential of higher education, the active attraction of international students is particularly important in modern conditions. The success of teaching international students at Russian universities largely depends on the nature of the adaptation process. The paper presents the experience of Armavir State Pedagogical University in developing an adaptation program for international students taking into account the multiculturalism of the South of Russia. International, national and regional contexts, types of adaptation of international students were considered based on the analysis of domestic and foreign experience. Special attention is paid to specific features of sociocultural, academic, socio-psychological, cross-cultural, psychophysiological and everyday adaptation of international students. The author considers the tasks and technologies of the adaptation program taking into account the specifics of each type of adaptation. The paper describes the pedagogical features of the adaptation program for international students. The predictability of the results is the possibility of using them to develop modular adaptation programs for students from foreign countries. The developed adaptation program for international students can be a factor in the development and strengthening the international cooperation between the university and new foreign partners.

Keywords: Internationalization, international students, adaptation, adaptation program

Introduction

The modern stage of the development of higher education in Russia is characterized by systematic and systemic changes that correspond to global challenges and global trends in the development of higher educational institutions (Seroshtan & Ketova, 2020).

The most important among these trends is the internationalization of higher education (De Wit, 2019, 2020; Suvorova & Bronnikov, 2019;). Internationalization has become a key factor for change in higher education, in the developed world, as well as in developing societies.

Contemporary studies noted that the internationalization of education should be explored in the broader context of the changing role and functions of higher education in the world. The internationalization of education in the current environment should aim not only at improving the quality of education and research, but also at ensuring the meaningful contribution of education and science to the achievement of sustainable development goals. Hence, the internationalization of education must acquire new characteristics: universality, focus and accessibility for most students and teachers (De Wit, 2020).

The massification of higher education in the context of the development of the global knowledge economy and active development of academic mobility turn education into a resource of global competition (Seroshtan & Ketova, 2020; Suvorova & Bronnikov, 2019).

In 2019 about 40 % of students began to pursue their education in English-speaking countries (USA, UK, Canada, Australia). France, Germany and Russia are also very popular among international students (Makhmutova, 2019). Until 1991, our country held the third place in terms of the number of international students lagging behind only the United States and France. Today, Russia ranks the sixth in the world ranking of educational exports (Nefedova, 2017). In this context, the strategy of developing the export potential of Russian education is particularly important. The state significance of this strategy is manifested in the priority project Development of the export potential of the Russian educational system adopted in 2017, according to which it is planned to increase the number of international students in Russian universities from 220 thousand to 710 thousand people in 2025 (Krolivetskaya, 2018).

The Armavir State Pedagogical University, which occupies a special place in the South of Russia as the largest educational, scientific and innovative center, makes its significant contribution to the development of the export of educational services. The implementation of the social mission of the university involves its significant contribution to the innovative development of socio-economic and cultural sphere of Kuban and Southern Russia.

The specific sociocultural characteristics of the South of Russia, which determine its innovative development as the most important Russian region, are associated with ethnocultural differentiation of the population, a multi-confessional structure, a continuing system of norms, traditions, customs, value and behavioral attitudes (Uzunov, 2019).

International students who come to study in multicultural Russian regions, including the Krasnodar Territory, face certain difficulties. Regional multiculturalism determines the transformation of value-oriented and content-technological foundations for work with international students (Aldakimova, 2019).

Domestic (Anikina, 2018; Beregovaya et al., 2020; Fedosov, 2015; Ivanova et al., 2018; Mukha et al., 2018) and foreign (Gebregergis et al., 2020; Khanal & Gaulee, 2019; Presbitero, 2016) science has been sufficiently and comprehensively studying the features, types of adaptation of international students, various barriers determining the objective need to develop a system of comprehensive support for students from foreign countries in each university.

Problem Statement

Insufficient methodological and technological development of adaptation programs for international students of the university restrains the internationalization of higher education in the multicultural region of the South of Russia.

Research Questions

What is the methodological basis for the adaptation program for international students?

How does the adaptation program for international students take into account the types of adaptation of international students and socio-cultural features of the South of Russia?

What are the objectives, content and technologies of the adaptation program for international students?

Purpose of the Study

To analyse pedagogical features of the adaptation program for international students in the multicultural region of the South of Russia.

Research Methods

The methodological basis of the study includes the leading ideas of axiological, cultural, competent approaches that allow considering the adaptation program as a mechanism for the development of academic, social competencies of international students, their integrated support at the stage of adaptation to the educational environment and multicultural living space.

The solution of research problems required the use of methods of comparative analysis of scientific literature on the problems of internationalization of higher education, the design of adaptation programs for international students, as well as the comparison and synthesis of scientific and theoretical results and empirical experience.

Findings

Armavir State Pedagogical University (ASPU) is actively developing international cooperation in scientific and educational sphere. Currently, 263 international students from 9 countries study at the university: Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Egypt, Yemen, China, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, China.

The assessment of higher educational institutions of the Krasnodar Territory against the overall performance showed high potential of ASPU in attracting international students (Kuznetsova et al., 2020).

The analysis of performed studies (Beregovaya et al., 2020; Khanal & Gaulee, 2019; Mukha et al., 2018; Mudassir & Hong, 2019; Sokolova, 2019) shows that the increase in the number of international students involves the development and testing of a specially designed adaptation program taking into account complexity and multidimensional process of their adaptation to a new educational environment and to Russian reality.

The pedagogical features of the adaptation program for international students developed at Armavir State Pedagogical University are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1 - Pedagogical features of the adaptation program for international students
See Full Size >

Many researchers agree that international students face various problems of adaptation when studying in host countries. The scientific literature traditionally describes three leading areas of adaptation of international students: psychological, sociocultural and academic adaptation (Beregovaya & Kudashov, 2019; Ivanova et al., 2018; Mudassir & Hong, 2019).

Living and studying in an unfamiliar sociocultural and academic environment causes a number of problems for international students, including depression, stress, anxiety, insomnia, cultural shock, loneliness and homesickness. Language difficulties occupy a special place among these problems, which makes it difficult to study, learn new social norms and communicate with the representatives of other cultures (Mudassir & Hong, 2019). The state of psychological stress and cultural shock manifested in disorientation and confusion that students experience in a new environment significantly affects their psychological and sociocultural adaptation (Presbitero, 2016).

Cross-cultural adaptation is defined as the focus of individuals on creating and maintaining a relatively stable system of relationships with a new socio-cultural environment for successful socialization and life (Kim & Kim, 2016). The studies revealed that the success of socio-cultural adaptation of international students is influenced not only by self-effectiveness and self-esteem, but also by the previous experience of student tourist trips (Gebregergis et al., 2020).

The inclusion in the new academic environment is a complex task for international students due to significant differences in educational systems in different countries (Friedman, 2020). The lack of understanding of new educational approaches and models negatively affects the academic performance of international students.

In the conditions of the national educational system the academic adaptation in the new intercultural environment differs significantly from academic adaptation in the native country. Academic adaptation of international students is a more complex process due to its multidimensional nature, dependence on specific features of foreign educational system, cultural and national traditions (Mudassir & Hong, 2019).

The greatest difficulty among international students is such a feature of the learning style as the emphasis on memorizing educational information or developing critical thinking. The second feature of the educational process is the ratio of the student-centered approach as opposed to the approach aimed at the teacher, in which he has a leading role, while with a student-centered approach, students show greater autonomy and responsibility for their learning outcomes.

Differences in pedagogical approaches and learning paradigm, mutual expectations of interaction between international students and teachers are so important that they can reduce the overall assessment of the host country (Khanal & Gaulee, 2019).

Academic barriers intersect closely with sociocultural barriers. In case when international students do not understand the cultural differences between countries, they continue to use their usual learning strategies learned in their native country.

Their peers are important agents for supporting international students at the adaptation stage. That is why it is important for international students to have friends not only among the representatives of their country, but, most importantly, among students from other countries and from the local community. High level of integration into local culture, social activism helps to develop a sense of belonging and avoid homesickness, fear and cultural shock (Mudassir & Hong, 2019).

Academic support from teachers is important in this matter, since it contributes to successful adaptation of international students and their academic achievements. To do this, team work on joint research projects can be used. Broad social support for international students is a very valuable resource for overcoming stress and for maintaining good physical and mental health (Ting et al., 2017).

Friendly relations with local residents not only serve as an important source of information about the new culture, but also help develop the intercultural competencies necessary to adapt to the new sociocultural environment (Wilson et al., 2013).

International students who do not refuse social support and take advantage of opportunities to integrate into a new environment adapt faster and more successfully and achieve academic success (Biserova & Shagivaleeva, 2019).

In the context of the problem under consideration, it is worth analyzing the ideas and principles of the so-called internal internationalization, which refers to the systemic integration of various aspects of international and intercultural interaction in the process of formal and non-formal education at a university (Beelen & Jones, 2015). Researchers are also considering the internationalization of curricula (Leask, 2016) and educational programs (Malkova & Maslennikova, 2019), which involves the inclusion of international, intercultural and global context based on the choice of the material being studied, modern teaching, evaluation and control methods used to support international students during the adaptation stage.

When developing technologies for adapting international students, we studied the successful experience of Russian universities in developing modern technologies for international students: tutor support technology (Beregovaya et al., 2020), practice-oriented project “We are in Russia” (Sokolova, 2019), mentoring technology (Tereshchenko, 2018).

The synthesis of the results obtained during the study revealed the following pedagogical features of the adaptation program for international students:

  • strategic orientation of the adaptation program for international students to intensify international cooperation, strengthen business reputation of a university in foreign countries, include the adaptation program in global, national and regional contexts;
  • conceptual validity of the adaptation program taking into account the main provisions of axiological, cultural and competent approaches to adaptation of international students in the multicultural space of the South of Russia;
  • structurally-meaningful integrity of the adaptation program for international students ensuring integration of international, national and regional contexts, types of adaptation of international students, tasks and technologies of sociocultural, academic, socio-psychological, cross-cultural, psychophysiological, household adaptation in their unity and interconnection;
  • personal-pragmatist nature of adaptation program for international students as the basis of their conscious inclusion in active development of new educational and sociocultural experience on the basis of open and trusting personal-developing intercultural interaction;
  • openness, flexibility of content-specific and technological characteristics of the adaptation program for international students taking into account national-cultural characteristics of their home countries, the level of preparation for study in Russian universities.

Conclusion

The analysis and synthesis of the conducted study allows formulating the following main conclusions:

1. The strategy of internationalization of higher education involves intensive development of international scientific and educational cooperation between Russian and foreign universities, increase in the volume of export of educational services while improving their quality as a mechanism for active attraction of international students to universities of the Russian Federation.

2. The adaptation program for international students developed at Armavir State Pedagogical University complies with ideas and principles of internal internationalization of higher education acting as a comprehensive resource of strategic focus on active inclusion of international students in education, research and social activities.

3. The predictability of results is the possibility of using them to develop modular adaptation programs for students from certain foreign countries taking into account the peculiarities of the multicultural region of the South of Russia.

4. The prospects of further research are related to the study of the best adaptation practices in leading foreign universities and their scientific and methodological adaptation to regional socio-cultural conditions.

References

  • Aldakimova, O. V. (2019). Axiological foundations for the development of academic mobility of international students in the multicultural region. Sci. Perspect., 9(120), 130–132. https://www.elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=41584848

  • Anikina, E. V. (2018). Some features of the adaptation of students from African countries to the conditions of a metropolis. World of Sci., Culture, Ed., 2(69), 229–231. file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/nekotor-e-osobennosti-v-adaptatsii-studentov-iz-stran-afriki-k-usloviyam-stolichnogo-megapolisa.pdf

  • Beelen, J., & Jones, E. (2015). Redefining Internationalization at Home. In The European Higher Education Area: Between Critical Reflections and Future Policies (pp. 67–80). Springer. DOI:

  • Beregovaya, O. A., & Kudashov, V. I. (2019). Problems of linguistic and academic adaptation of international students in Russia. Integrat. of ed., 23(4), 628–640. https:// doi.org/10.15507/1991-9468.097.023.201904.628-640

  • Beregovaya, O. A., Lopatina, S. S., & Oturgasheva, N. V. (2020). Tutor support as a tool of socio-cultural adaptation of international students at a Russian university. Higher ed. in Russ., 29(1), 156–165. DOI: 10.31992/0869-3617-2020-29-1-156-165

  • Biserova, G. K., & Shagivaleeva, G. R. (2019). Socio-psychological adaptation of international students to learning and professional activities. Space and Culture, India, 6(5), 99–114. DOI:

  • De Wit, H. (2019). Internationalization in Higher Education: Critical Review. SFU Ed. Rev., 12(3), 9–17. DOI:

  • De Wit, H. (2020). Internationalization of Higher Education: The Need for a More Ethical and Qualitative Approach. J. of Int. Students. 10(1), i-iv. DOI:

  • Fedosov, E. A. (2015). Chinese students at Tomsk State University: values, motivation, household adaptation. Bull. of Tomsk State Univer., 5(37), 128–133. DOI: 10.17223/19988613/37/18

  • Friedman, C. (2020). Learning Barriers in International Education. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339711553_Learning_Barriers_in_International_Education

  • Gebregergis, W. T., Mehari, D. T., Gebretinsae, D. Y., & Tesfamariam, A. H. (2020). The Predicting Effects of Self-Efficacy, Self-Esteem and Prior Travel Experience on Sociocultural Adaptation Among International Students. J. of Int. Student, 10(2), 339–357. DOI:

  • Ivanova, G. P., Logvinova, D. C., & Shirkova, N. N. (2018). Pedagogical support of socio-cultural adaptation of international students: implementation experience. Higher ed. in Russ., 27(3), 60–69. https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/pedagogicheskoe-obespechenie-sotsiokulturnoy-adaptatsii-inostrannyh-studentov-opyt-realizatsii

  • Khanal, J, & Gaulee, U. (2019). Challenges of international students from pre-departure to post-study: A literature review. J. of Int. Students, 9(2), 560–581. DOI:

  • Kim, Y. S., & Kim, Y. Y. (2016). Ethnic proximity and cross-cultural adaptation: A study of Asian and European students in the United States. Intercult. Communicat. Stud., 25(3), 61–80.

  • Krolivetskaya, S. M. (2018). Prospects for the development of export potential of higher education in the Russian Federation. Manag. Consult., 12, 73–78. DOI: 10.22394/1726-1139-2018-12-73-78.

  • Kuznetsova, O. D., Emelyanov, D. O., & Kosnikov, S. N. (2020). Integral assessment of higher educational institutions of the Krasnodar Territory. Sci. J. of KubSAU, 156(02). http://ej.kubagro.ru/2020/02/pdf/03.pdf DOI: DOI: 10.21515/1990-4665-156-003

  • Leask, B. (2016). Internationalizing Curriculum and Learning for All Students. In E. Jones, R. Coelen, J. Beelen, & H. Wit (Ed.), Global and Local Internationalization. Transgressions: Cultural Studies and Education. Sense Publishers. DOI:

  • Makhmutova, E. V. (2019). Analysis of experience with international students in Russia and China. Humanities. J. of Finance Univer., 9(6), 24–29. DOI: 10.26794/2226-7867-2019-9-6-24-29

  • Malkova, I. Yu., & Maslennikova, O. G. (2019). Internationalization of educational programs as a resource for the formation of global competence of master students. Bull. of Tomsk State Univer., 444, 169–177. DOI: 10.17223/15617793/444/22

  • Mudassir, H., & Hong, S. (2019). A Study on Academic Adaptation of International Students in China. Higher Ed. Stud., 9(4), 80–92. DOI:

  • Mukha, V. N., Mozhaeva, E. Yu., & Lysenko, A. I. (2018). Features of primary adaptation of international students at a Russian university (using the example of KubSTU). Histor. and socio-ed. thought, 10(2-2), 120–126. DOI: 10.17748/2075-9908-2018-10-2/2-120-126

  • Nefedova, A. I. (2017). Scope, structure and objectives of Russian higher education export. World of Russ., 26(2), 154–174. https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/masshtaby-struktura-i-tseli-eksporta-rossiyskogo-vysshego-obrazovaniya

  • Presbitero, A. (2016). Culture shock and reverse culture shock: The moderating role of cultural intelligence in international students’ adaptation. Int. J. of Intercult. Relat., 53, 28–38. DOI:

  • Seroshtan, M. V, & Ketova, N. P. (2020). Modern Russian universities: positioning, development trends, opportunities to increase competitive advantages. Higher ed. in Russ., 29(2), 27–40. DOI: 10.31992/0869-3617-2020-29-2-27-40

  • Sokolova, Yu. A. (2019). Formation of socio-cultural adaptation of international students in the framework of the practice-oriented project “We are in Russia”. Bull. of TSPU, 7(204), 130–139. DOI: 10.23951/1609-624X-2019-7-130-139

  • Suvorova, V. A., & Bronnikov, I. A. (2019). International educational migration as a “soft power resource” in the era of globalization. Manag., 4, 131–139. DOI: 10.26425/2309-3633-2019-4-131-139

  • Tereshchenko, E. K. (2018). New forms of pedagogical support for international students in the multicultural region. Econ. and human. stud. of reg., 6, 125–128.

  • Ting, K. N., Kitty, W. C. W., & Wai, C. (2017). Acculturation and cross-cultural adaptation: The moderating role of social support. Int. J. of Intercult. Relat., 59, 19–30. DOI:

  • Uzunov, V. V. (2019). Social consolidation and innovative development of the regional space of the South of Russia: methodological scheme of research. Humanist of the South of Russ., 8((37)3), 216–230. DOI:

  • Wilson, J., Ward, C., & Fischer, R. (2013). Beyond culture learning theory: What can personal tell us about cultural competence? J. of Cross-Cultural Psychol., 44, 900–927. DOI:

Copyright information

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

About this article

Publication Date

17 May 2021

eBook ISBN

978-1-80296-106-5

Publisher

European Publisher

Volume

107

Print ISBN (optional)

-

Edition Number

1st Edition

Pages

1-2896

Subjects

Science, philosophy, academic community, scientific progress, education, methodology of science, academic communication

Cite this article as:

Aldakimova, O. V., Tvelova, I. A., Kostenko, A. A., & Sherbaneva, N. G. (2021). Pedagogical Features of the Adaptation Program for International Students. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Knowledge, Man and Civilization, vol 107. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 31-39). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.05.5