FACTORS INFLUENCING THE ADAPTABILITY OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS. A PILOT STUDY ON FIRST-YEAR DENTISTRY STUDENTS IN ROMANIA

Iulia-Diana Muraru, Magdalena Iorga, Catalina Munteanu, Beatrice-Gabriela Ioan

Abstract

The aim of the study is to identify the factors that increase the risk for difficulties related to the process of acculturation among freshmen international students in Romania. Material and methods: 85 international students were included in the research. A socio-demographic data sheet and items targeting the factors that influence acculturative stress were administrated. Data was analyzed using SPSS program, version 21. Results: Mean age of the sample is 20.43 (±3.64), with a homogenous sample of participants (45.9% were male and 54.1% female). Students revealed they are facing problems such as: having issues understanding and learning Romanian language (49.4%, N=42), problems with the schedule (41.2%, N=35), weather (28.2%, N=24), food (27.1%, N=23), academic problems (25.9%, N=22), or local transportation (21.2%, N=18). Distance from home, corruption, politics, discrimination, homesickness, lack of local attractions and the presence of insects were also factors mentioned by students. Gender differences were also identified. Conclusion: Awareness and understanding of factors that contribute to a high level of acculturation stress can allow educational institutions to offer social and financial structures to help international students.

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