A mixed-method study of the socio-cultural adaptation of international students in Hong Kong universities

Baohua YU, Lina VYAS, Ewan WRIGHT

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


As a regional hub for education, Hong Kong has seen a growing population of international students. In contrast to existing conceptual models in acculturation literature that are often devoted to studying long-term settlers such as migrants or refugees in English-speaking countries (Smith & Khawaja, 2011), this study develops and tests a fine-grained model for degree-seeking mobile students. A mix-method was employed: a large scale survey (n = 619) across six Hong Kong universities and focus group interviews (n = 31). Bilingual competences were found to play important roles to predict socio-cultural adaptation together with academic efficacy, social support, contacts with locals and psychological adaptation. This study offered practical and managerial insights for educational policymakers, university senior management and administrations, academicians and research communities on how to manage the changes and accommodate the needs of international students so that we can attract a culturally diverse body of students. This research is significant because it extends the literature by examining socio-cultural adjustment during cross-cultural transitions in an increasingly globalized context. Copyright © 2018 HKERA International Conference.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018



Yu, B., Vyas, L., & Wright, E. (2018, December). A mixed-method study of the socio-cultural adaptation of international students in Hong Kong universities. Paper presented at the Hong Kong Educational Research Association (HKERA) International Conference 2018: Equity, Access, and Diversity in Education: Theory, Practice, and Research, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.