Abstract

The number of international students enrolled in educational institutions in the United States has increased in the last few years. As international students seek a higher education, they are required to leave behind their home countries and academic cultures and to adapt to new ones. International students attempt to adapt and acculturate as fast and as effective as possible. They do this by engaging in different kinds of behaviors, some of which include the use of social media. The purpose of this study is to analyze the influence of social media on international students’ adaptation processes to the U.S. American culture and the culture at The College of Wooster. The researcher interviewed seven international students enrolled at The College of Wooster. Questions from the interviews touched upon subjects such as their countries of origin, their experiences with the American culture and social media use prior arriving to The College of Wooster, their social media use while attending The College of Wooster, and their adaptation and accommodation processes. It was concluded that social media helped international students in their accommodation processes, however, it was not the main reason they managed to adapt and accommodate. Second, international students who had a desire to accommodate and had previous experiences with the US culture, adapted faster than those who did not. Third, participants who had been in the US and at The College of Wooster for longer, adapted faster than newcomers. Finally, participants communicated using social media more with those who they had closer relationships with without taking into account their interlocutor’s nationality.

Advisor

Atay, Ahmet

Department

Communication

Disciplines

International and Intercultural Communication

Keywords

social media, international students, adaptation, acculturation, accommodation adaptation processes

Publication Date

2018

Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 2018 Michelle Zuniga Lopez