Opening a new chapter of life as an international student in a foreign country can be stressful. Traversing multiple cultural settings can bring about problems in adjusting. This may result in poor academic performance, termination of the sojourn, or hostility toward the host culture. However, an international sojourn can also come with positive outcomes, such as well-being, happiness, confidence and positive emotion.
Using the results of research among international students in the Netherlands, social psychologist dr. Michael Bender digs into ‘acculturation orientations’ as predictors of adjustment. How does the way you relate to the host, to your heritage culture – but also to the international community – influence your experience? Further, he shows the relevance of social support for adjustment.
Find out for whom and under which conditions we can expect a stay abroad to be either a positive, or a stressful experience.
Dr. Michael Bender
Michael Bender is Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Psychology at Tilburg University, the Netherlands and Honorary Associate Professor at Gratia Christian College, Hong Kong. His work focuses on acculturation as well as motivation and memory from a cross-cultural perspective.
He is associate editor of the Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, has reviewed for multiple grant institutions (the GRF in Hong Kong, for example) and has published in such journals as the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, the Journal of Research in Personality, and Applied Cognitive Psychology.He has previously worked at Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, USA, at the City University of Hong Kong, PR China and the University of Osnabrück, Germany, where he received his PhD.