Experiences and impressions of Jamaican students studying at the University of Florida, 1981-1982

Material Information

Experiences and impressions of Jamaican students studying at the University of Florida, 1981-1982
Salmon, Otilia ( Dissertant )
Hallman, Clemens L. ( Thesis advisor )
Burns, Allan F. ( Reviewer )
Bolduc, Elroy J. ( Reviewer )
Casteel, James D. ( Reviewer )
Wright, Robert G. ( Reviewer )
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
University of Florida
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
Physical Description:
viii, 180 leaves : ill., maps ; 28 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
College students ( jstor )
Colleges ( jstor )
Graduate students ( jstor )
High school students ( jstor )
Immigration ( jstor )
International education ( jstor )
International students ( jstor )
Questionnaires ( jstor )
Statistical significance ( jstor )
Universities ( jstor )
Curriculum and Instruction thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Curriculum and Instruction -- UF
Jamaican students -- Florida -- Gainesville ( lcsh )
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Florida -- Gainesville


The purpose of this study was to determine the academic, social and cultural needs of the Jamaican students at the University of Florida. Certain hypotheses related to these needs and concerning the students' adaptation and anticipated reentry problems were rested. The need for the study was determined by the increase in the number of Jamaican students at the University of Florida. To be able to accomplish what was proposed, two different approaches were employed in collecting the data: experimental and observational. The research methodology selected for gathering the data was that of an interview and questionnaire for which an instrument was developed by the researcher. Content validity and reliability were established with the aid of a panel of experts in the field and refined through the use of a pilot study. Statistical manipulation of the responses on the questionnaire indicated the following results: The international students ' orientation program at the University of Florida does have a positive effect on the students' academic achievement but does not help them in the adaptation to the United States' culture. The education obtained in Jamaica made a significant difference in the students' academic performance. Another variable investigated was the type of visa held by the students. Although this variable seemed not to have had any significant effect on the students' adaptation, it did have a positive relationship with their academic performance and their anticipated reentry problems. In response to the questions asked in the interview, the researcher concluded that for the most part, the students in the sample were able to acquaint themselves sufficiently well with their new environment to alleviate the discouraging adjustment situation that could have affected their academic and personal adjustment. It was recommended that the study be replicated with the same population two years hence to determine any major changes in their perceptions of their problems. In addition, the study should also be replicated involving all the Caribbean students that basically have the same culture academic, and adaptation problems.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1982.
Includes bibliographic references (leaves 168-178).
General Note:
General Note:
Statement of Responsibility:
by Otilia Salmon.

Record Information

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University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
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Copyright [name of dissertation author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
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ABZ0492 ( NOTIS )


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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . . . . . . . iv

ABSTRACT . . . . . . . . . . . vi


I. INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . 1

Statement of the Problem . . . . 3
Null Hypotheses . . . . . . . 4
Justification . . . . . . . 6
Delimitations . . . . . . . 10
Limitations . . . . . . . . 10
Assumptions . . . . . . . . 10
Definition of Terms . . . . . 11
Organization of the Research Report . . 13


Geography of the Caribbean Region . . 14
Sociocultural Description of the
Caribbean . . . . . . . . 15
United States Immigration Policy, and
the Culturally Different Immigrant
in the United States . . . . . 21
International Students in the U.S. . ... 25
Florida . . . . . . .. . 30
Foreign Student Orientation and
*Adaptation to U.S. Culture and
Educational System . . . . 37
Adaptation . . . . . . .. 41
*Culture Shock . . . . . . . 51
Applicability of U.S. Education to the
Third World Countries . . . . 63
Reentry Problems the Students Can
Anticipate Encountering on Their
Return to Their Native Land . . . 69



III. METHODOLOGY . . . . . . . . 75

Subjects. . . . . . .
Content Validity and Reliability
of the Instrument . . . .
Pilot Study . . . . . .
Design. . . . . . . .
Development of the Questionnaire.
Theoretical Foundation. . . .
Collection of Data . . ..

. . . 75

. . . 77
. . . 77
. . . 80
. . . 80
. . . 81
. . . 87


Presentation and Interpretation of Data . 90
Presentation and Discussion of the
Analysis of Data. . . . . . . .110


Summary and Conclusions . . . . . .139
Implications and Recommendations. . . .144
Recommendations for Future Research . . .146

APPENDIX . . . .

. . . . . . . 147

BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . .168

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. . . . . . . . . 179




I am sincerely grateful and deeply indebted to

Dr. Clemens Hallman, chairman of my doctoral committee,

for his encouragement and continued support in the

direction of my doctoral program.

My sincere appreciation to the members of my doc-

toral committee, Dr. Doyle Casteel, Dr. Robert Wright,

Dr. Elroy Bolduc, Jr., and Dr. Allan Burns, who so

generously provided their intellectual guidance and

assistance in the research project.

I would also like to recognize the panel of experts

Dr. Allan Burns, Dr. Paul Magnarella, Dr. Mary Mack, and

Dr. Clemens Hallman, who so devotedly gave of their time

and guidance in the development of the questionnaire.

Thanks are expressed to the staff of the Division

of Sponsored Research and the Graduate School for their

moral support and encouragement, and to the Jamaican

student body, without whom this study would not have

been possible.

To my dear friends, Masuma Downie, Patricia Schmidt,

Katharina Phillips, Sheri and Charlie Rein, Priscilla

DeBose, Marcelle Kinney, Lauri Benson, Tanya Streeter,

Esther Oteiza, and my other numerous friends, for being

there when I needed them.

Gratitude is expressed to Tommy Lue Green and Ronald

Johnson who opened their home and their hearts to me

during my sojourn in Gainesville.

There is throughout this study the reflection of the

love and devotion of my dearest mother Cleopatra, my sister

Olga, and my brother Franklin, for their constant kindness

and understanding which made the seemingly endless hours of

toil possible and ultimately fruitful. To them and to the

memory of my father, Alfred, I dedicate this study.

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the
Graduate Council of the University of Florida
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy




December 1982

Chairman: Clemens Hallman
Major Department: Curriculum and Instruction

The purpose of this study was to determine the

academic, social and cultural needs of the Jamaican

students at the University of Florida. Certain hypoth-

eses related to these needs and concerning the students'

adaptation and anticipated reentry problems were tested.

The need for the study was determined by the increase

in the number of Jamaican students at the University of

Florida. To be able to accomplish what was proposed,

two different approaches were employed in collecting

the data: experimental and observational. The research

methodology selected for gathering the data was that of

an interview and questionnaire for which an instrument

was developed by the researcher. Content validity and

reliability were established with the aid of a panel of

experts in the field and refined through the use of a

pilot study.

Statistical manipulation of the responses on the

questionnaire indicated the following results: The

international students' orientation program at the

University of Florida does have a positive effect on

the students' academic achievement but does not help

them in the adaptation to the United States' culture.

The education obtained in Jamaica made a significant

difference in the students' academic performance.

Another variable investigated was the type pf visa

held by the students. Although this variable seemed

not to have had any significant effect on the students'

adaptation, it did have a positive relationship with

their academic performance and their anticipated reentry

problems. In response to the questions asked in the

interview, the researcher concluded that for the most

part, the students in the sample were able to acquaint


themselves sufficiently well with their new environment

to alleviate the discouraging adjustment situation that

could have affected their academic and personal adjustment.

It was recommended that the study be replicated with

the same population two years hence to determine any major

changes in their perceptions of their problems. In addi-

tion, the study should also be replicated involving all

the Caribbean students that basically have the same culture,

academic, and adaptation problems.




The Caribbean, the oldest colonial sphere of Western

European expansion (London, 1978), has taken on renewed

world importance and other nations are carefully watching

its development.

The United States (U.S.) is finding that traditional

policies toward its neighbors to the South no longer fit

the changes that have swept through Mexico and Central

America and across the Caribbean (Ford Foundation, 1982).

Mexico, for example, has now become a major source

of oil and natural gas. Its potential oil reserves rival

those of the Persian Gulf, and it is a rising "middle pow-

er" in Latin American affairs. Still, the crossing of

thousands of Mexicans into the U.S. each year looking for

work is a source of continuing friction between the two


Today, parts of Central America are engulfed in vio-

lence, with the remaining countries caught in the cross-

fire and desperately trying to cope with an influx of

refugees. Throughout the region, endemic economic and so-

cial problems persist. As some U.S. observers see it,

Central America's troubles are being exploited by the

Soviet Union and Cuba, thus threatening U.S. influence in

the area (Ford Foundation, 1982).

Most of the Caribbean, once dominated by foreign pow-

ers, has become a collection of independent mini-states

with limited experience in the international arena and

severe economic problems. As these island nations gain

independence from European colonialism, the United States

becomes the focal noint for educational options inasmuch

as there is no longer any compelling reason to patronize

the educational institutions of the metropolitan Mother

Countries (London, 1978).

United States relations with Cuba have been hostile

for 20 years. No relations with Puerto Rico are becoming

strained, due to increased pressure by Puerto Ricans for

a change in the island's commonwealth status. For the

U.S., the Caribbean is a strategic area as well as a

modest source of raw materials, trade, and investment op-

portunities. The region is also tied to the U.S. through

migration. According to a report published by Ford

Foundation (1982), one-fifth of all Caribbean-born people

now live in the United States.

Combined with the political turmoil and the economic

disadvantages of the island nations of the Caribbean are

other factors which will continue to create great pressure

for large streams of immigrants to continue flowing to

Florida. Among these factors are the established presence

of latin culture, similar subtropical climate, economic

viability, and the geographical proximity of places like

South Florida (McCoy and Gonzales, 1981).

In addition to the geographical proximity, there are

other long-standing relationships of socioeconomic and

political proportions which tie the Caribbean to the United

States (Graham, 1981). Such factors have facilitated the

flow of immigrants and account for the large Caribbean pres-

ence here. However, despite these relationships, relative-

ly little is known about the Caribbean and still less about

the background of the student who carries his own particular

needs to the U.S. university campus and grapples with the

problems of adjustment and acculturation.

Statement of the Problem

The purposes of this study were six-fold. The first

was to explore the experiences and impressions of Jamaicans

who are undergraduate students at the University of Florida

in order to evaluate the extent to which their stay has

been educationally rewarding and the degree to which they

perceived the course of studies they were pursuing as be-

ing relevant to the needs of the developing nation of

Jamaica. The second was to identify problems confronted

by Jamaican students who have matriculated at the University

of Florida. The third was to determine the extent to which

these students' programs of studies in Jamaica prepared

them to pursue their educational goals at the University of

Florida. The fourth was to explore the ways in which the

Jamaican students have modified their culture in order to

get along socially in the United States. The fifth was to

identify the problems of adjustment that students expect

to experience when they return to Jamaica. The final pur-

pose was to suggest procedures that might be employed at

the University of Florida in order to assist students in

transferring the knowledge gained in the United States to


Null Hypotheses

One of the main purposes of this study was to test the

following null hypotheses:

1. There is no statistically significant difference be-
tween the students' level of orientation (orienta-
tion, or no orientation) and their achievement as
measured by their grade point average.

2. There is no statistically significant difference be-
tween the students' level of orientation and their
adaptation to the United States.

3. There is no statistically significant difference be-
tween the students' level of education (0 Levels, A
Levels, below 0 Levels) on arriving in the United
States and their academic achievement as measured
by their grade point average, after one year at the
University of Florida.

4. There is no statistically significant difference be-
tween the type of visa (J, F, Resident) held by the
students and their adaptation to the United States.

5. There is no statistically significant difference be-
tween the type of visa held by the student and their
academic achievement.

6. There is no statistically significant interaction
between the students' age, their length of stay in
the United States, and their adaptation.

7. There is no statistically significant relationship
between the adaptation of the students and their
length of stay in the United States.

8. There is no statistically significant difference be-
tween the adaptation of older students (ages 25-38)
to the adaptation of younger students (ages 17-24)
at the University of Florida.

9. There is no statistically significant relationship
between the students' grade point average and their
anticipated reentry problems.

10. There is no statistically significant relationship
between the level of adaptation to problems in the
United States and the set of independent variables
"X" ("X" representing age, length of sojourn in the
USA, and type of visa: J, F, R).

11. There is no statistically significant relationship
between the degree of problems encountered in the
United States and the set of independent variables
"X. "

12. There is no statistically significant relationship
between the degree of problems expected when the
student renters his/her country and the set of in-
dependent variables "X."

13. There is no statistically significant relationship
between the students' GPA and the set of independ-
ent variables "X."

In addition to the statistical analysis, the research-

er analyzed descriptively the responses given by the 25

subjects during their interviews, in order to identify

some indications with regard to the following questions:

1. How do the Jamaican students feel about
their Jamaican identity?

2. What are some of the experiences the
students from Jamaica have had at the
University of Florida?

3. What are some of the impressions the
students from Jamaica have of their
course of study and its relevance to
their future and to the needs of


Every facet of society in the State of Florida, and

indirectly the other states around the nation, is being

affected favorably or adversely by the inflow of English,

French, and Spanish immigrants from the Caribbean. Al-

though in this study a general overview of the Caribbean

sociocultural, geographical, and immigration problems

will be discussed, it will be dealt with only as far as it

may throw light on the background of the study which is

based on the Jamican students at the University of Florida.

According to Enarson (1982), international education

has been the banner under which educators of many persua-

sions have marched: the devQtees of area and language

studies, using foreign languages as a liberating force;

the exports in overseas development; the scholarly commun-

ity enamored with the exchange of senior scholars; and

finally, faculty members, deans, and presidents, and the

"globally aware" in the community, who believe that it is

a very good thing to invite foreign students to partake

of the cultural and intellectual resources of the United

States' campuses and communities.

Institutions of higher learning in the United States

are attracting a tremendous number of foreign students on

their campuses. According to Bowles (1962), in 1961,

60,000 foreign students were enrolled in this country in

1,666 institutions in all 50 states and in the District

of Columbia. Since then, the foreign student population

has expanded greatly. During the seventies for example,

the population grew from 135,000 or 1.7 percent of the

total enrollment (Joshi, 1981) in 1979, to 286,600 or 2.4

percent in 1980.

Another study conducted by Jacobs (1980-81) in New York

reported that there were 311,882 foreign students in 1981

studying in the United States in institutions of higher

learning, and Enarson (1982) has predicted that there will

be one million foreign students by the end of the decade.

Of the number of foreign students reported in 1980-81 in the

United States, 11,919 were to be found in the state of

Florida with 8,910 of these from the Caribbean Islands. This

figure excluded the Spanish-speaking islands of Cuba, Santo

Domingo, and Puerto Rico. Of the 8,910 students from the

Caribbean, 2,290 were from the Island of Jamaica (Open Door


This growth of foreign student population has been per-

ceived by many schools as an opportunity during a period of

stagnating enrollment by the U.S. students (Open Door

1980/1981). But growth has also presented new issues; for-

eign students require special services, which necessitate

additional investment by institutions in facilities and

staff. In addition, institutions face choices in deter-

mining optimum levels of enrollment in relation to the ser-

vices they can afford to provide.

A few schools have relied excessively on student
enrollment as a panacea for financial problems,
with concomitant recruitment abuses and negative
impact on institution and community. These few
schools were typically unprepared to provide ap-
propriate special services to such students,
with predictable negative results. . Parti-
cularly large growth in the number of students

from certain countries has occasioned campus de-
bates on the appropriate level and distribution
of foreign students required to maintain diver-
sity and balance. (Joshi, 1981, p. 2)

Although overall many American public colleges and

universities feel comfortable with their existing policies

towards foreign students, and have not modified their poli-

cies in the light of recent public attention to foreign

student issues (Joshi, 1981), there has been recent interest

and concern in the higher education community with regard to

changes in institutional policy toward foreign students

(Strain, 1962).

The greatest pressure these schools face is in keeping

international student services abreast of foreign student

enrollment. In the survey taken by the International

Institute of Education, 30 percent of the schools reported

that foreign student services have not expanded to keep

pace with enrollment, or have been reduced (Open Door 1981).

The study presently being conducted entitled "Experiences

and Impressions of Jamaican Students Studying at the

University of Florida 1981-1982" is designed to fill the

gap by providing normative baseline data on the Jamaican

students in the United States and relevant information with

regard to foreign students' need with recommendations on

how best to meet them.


This study will be confined to eighty undergraduate

students from Jamaica enrolled at the University of Florida

during the academic year 1981-82.


This study relied on a researcher developed instrument

consisting of 56 questions and on an informal taped inter-

view conducted by the researcher. Since events, attitudes,

and perceptions constantly change, the perceptions and atti-

tudes that were identified at the end of this study were

only reflective of the time period during which this study

was conducted.

The extent to which this study can be generalized is

limited to a population similar to that from which the

sample was drawn.


This study is designed using the following assumptions:

1. The responses to the questionnaire accurately re-
flected the opinions of the sample.

2. Content and face validity of the questionnaire
was sufficient for the purpose of this study.

3. Participants in the study constituted a repre-
sentative sample of the true population.

4. Because the sample was randomly selected, initial
differences would be controlled.

Definitions of Terms

Foreign (International) Student:

(1) "A person who enrolls in a recognized education-

al institution in a country other than his own and

who plans to return to his home country upon com-

pletion of his academic objectives" (Putnam, 1971,

p. 491-92). (2) A non-immigrant student enrolled

in an educational institution in the United States

on an "F" or "J" visa.

F-Visa (Student Status):

"An F-i and an F-1 student status may be granted
to an alien who is a bona fide student qualified
to pursue a full course of study at an academic
institution authorized to admit foreign students.
When applying for an F-1 visa, the individual
must prove to a U.S. consular official that he
wishes to enter the U.S. temporarily and solely
for purposes of study and that he has a permanent
residence in a foreign country which he has no
intention of abandoning" (Advisor's Manual of
Federal Regulations Affecting Foreign Students
and Scholars, 1975, p. 11).

J-Visa (Exchange Visitor):

"An alien having a residence in a foreign country
which he had no intention of abandoning, who is a
bona fide student, scholar, trainee, teacher,
professor, research assistant, specialist, or
leader in a field of specialized knowledge or
skill, or other person of similar description,
who is coming temporarily to the United States
as a participant in a program designated by the
Secretary of State for the purpose of teaching,
instructing or lecturing, studying, observing,
conducting research, consulting, demonstrating
special skills or receiving training, and the


alien spouse and minor children of any such alien
if accompanying him or following to join him"
(Advisor's Manual of Federal Regulations Affecting
Foreign Students and Scholars, 1975, p. 21).

Permanent Resident (Immigrant Status or Resdient Alien):

"An immigrant is an alien who has been lawfully
admitted for permanent residence in the United
States. In common usage, the word 'immigrant'
is interchangeable with permanent resident or
'PR'. Acquiring immigrant status gives an alien
the right to stay in the U.S. for an indefinite
period of time without any need to request exten-
sions of stay, work permits, etc. An immigrant
is never compelled to become a naturalized citi-
zen. The immigrant of good moral character may
elect to become naturalized at any five years or
more after he becomes a permanent resident (three
years for the immigrant with a U.S. citizen
spouse)" (Advisor's Manual of Federal Regulations
Affecting Foreign Students and Scholars, 1975,
p. 45).

0 Level or Ordinary Level is the General Certificate

of Education examination taken after the student

has completed a course of study in secondary

school. This examination measure the results of

5 years of study in from four to twelve subjects

or the Certificate of Secondary Education given

to those who are in an academic track and normal-

ly do not continue after age sixteen (College and

University, The Journal of the American Association

of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers,

1980, p. 345-46).

A Level Examination or Advance Level are the examinations

taken after spending 2 more years in the high school

after satisfactory completion of 0 Level. This ex-

amination measures the results of two years of study

in two to five subjects (College and University, The

Journal of the American Association of Collegiate

Recistrars and Admission Officers, 1980, p. 345-46).

Attitude is defined by Sherif and Sherif as the set of

subject-object relationships that the individual

builds up in repeated encounters with objects, per-

sons, groups, social values, and institutions

(Sherif and Sherif, 1969).

Adjustment is viewed in this paper as subjective phenome-

nom--a personal reaction to the social-cultural en-


Organization of the Research Report

Chapter II contains a review of related background in-

formation. Chapter III describes the methodology used in

the study. In Chapter IV, the data will be presented and

analyzed. Chapter V includes the summary, conclusions, and

recommendations for further research.



To be able to set the framework of this investigation,

literature and research studies relating to the problem are

reviewed in the following areas:

a) geography of the Caribbean,

b) sociocultural description of the Caribbean,

c) U.S. Immigration policy, and the culturally
different immigrant in the United States,

d) international students in the United States,

e) foreign student orientation, and adaptation
to U.S. culture and educational system,

f) applicability of United States education to
third world countries, and

g) re-entry problems that students can antici-
pate encountering on their return to their
native land.

Geography of the Caribbean Region

The Caribbean region is commonly referred to as the

West Indies, the Islands, or the Antilles. The very name

West Indies is a misnomer which arose out of confusion and

ignorance (London, 1978). It was Christopher Columbus who

named the region, believing it to have been the shores of

the Orient which he had hoped to reach by sailing west.


Geographically speaking, the Antillean archipelago

forms a curved 1500-mile chain extending from the peninsula

of Florida in North America, to the Peninsula of Paria on

the northeast coast of South America (London, 1978) (see

map, Fig. 1). The English-speaking Caribbean Islands, to

which Jamaica belongs, consist of Jamaica, the Leeward

Islands of St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Montserrat, the

Virgin Islands, and the Windward Islands of St. Vincent,

St. Lucia, Dominica, and Grenada. In addition, there are

the islands of Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize in

Central America, and Guyana in South America (see map,

Fig. 2).

Sociocultural Description of the Caribbean

Within 50 years after Columbus' visit to the West

Indies in 1494, the Spaniards had established their first

bases in the Caribbean and had annihilated both the people

and the culture of the Arawaks and the Caribs (Augier and

Gordon, 1971). Since then, the Caribeean has experienced

more than three hundred years of slavery, colonialism, and

exploitation (Mintz, 1968). Thus the heritage of the

Caribbean is one of contact and clash, amalgamation and

accommodation, and resistance to change (Augier and

Gordon, 1971). In addition, the Islands' social history


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may be conceptualized as one that includes colonialism,

massive migrations, plantations, and extensive use of

slaves and contract labor from Africa, India, Asia, and

Europe (Platt, 1978).

The merger of these African and Asian ancestors,

coupled with the Western traditions of the colonial pow-

ers, led to the evolution of the distinctive cultures

that one finds today within the Caribbean. Some of the

most complex societies in the world can be found there,

each of which is unique (Parry and Sherlock, 1971). The

complexity of the societies in the Caribbean is not a

result of the size of the islands, or to their internal

differentiation or technological developments, but to the

dependent and fragmented nature of their cultures. This

factor has been compounded by the ethnic diversity of

their populations, the special nature of their dependent

economics, the peculiarities of their political develop-

ment, and the apparent incoherence of their social in-

stitutions (Smith, 1965).

The peoples of the Caribbean, therefore, cannot be

classified as Africans, Asians, or Westerners. They are

an unusual and complex racial and ethnic combination of

Amerindians, Europeans, Africans, and Asians (Horowitz,

1971). Yet, within the framework of this synthesis lies

lies the peculiarity of dissimilarity which arises among

peoples strung out over more than a thousand miles of

islands, who are inheritors of varied historical back-

grounds and diverse cultural norms (Platt, 1978).

The Caribbean Islands, with few exceptions, have sev-

eral major characteristics of island ecosystems (Fushberg,

1963). They are limited in size and stand in relative

isolation. With the exception of Haiti, which won its in-

dependence in 1803, all the islands held colonial status

well into the 20th century. They share a history of change

of colonial leadership several times (see Fig. 3). Accord-

ing to Horowitz (1971) there is a tendency towards a sec-

tor stratification consisting of a dominant plantocracy and

subordinate agricultural proletariat.

Today, the rise of nationalism and cultural autonomy

and the transition of many of the islands from dependent to

independent status have brought with it many unfulfilled ex-

pectations: expectations of being able to overcome their

economic problems on their own and achieve self-sufficiency

and true independence.


jSpanish '
1650 -. .... .. ...D

1 6 7 5 E r s h
^, ;..English- :.
170 .
*:,2- . **. -,^ ..- ,
172~ French

1750 FN"":- french

1775 Eng.

1825. ......


Figure 3. European Colonial Ownership of the West Indies
between 1623-1814. Adapted from F.R. Augier
and S.C. Gordon, The Making of the West Indies.
London: Longmans Green and Co., Ltd., 1964,
p. 180.

U.S. Immigration Policy,
and the Culturally Different
Immigrant in the United States

The government of the United States has recently be-

come more involved in the development and problems of the

Caribbean Basin. This renewed interest on the part of the

United States has been given impetus by the growing left-

ist movement in the Caribbean area, coupled with grave

economic conditions that the developing nations, worldwide,

are facing. In addition, these factors seem to have in-

fluenced and accelerated the massive flow of migration in-

to South Florida resulting in an increase of foreign stu-

dents from the Caribbean into the educational institutions

around the nation and, in particular, Florida.

Migration from the Caribbean, especially from Jamaica

from 1975 to 1980, was estimated at 14,000 to 20,000 (McCoy

and Gonzales, 1981). This can be seen as one country's

loss and another country's gain. Because of the United

States policy regarding who should or can receive a visa

to sojourn here, only the wealthy and the educated have had

the opportunity to migrate. This has created a tremendous

problem for Jamaica because this policy has contributed to

the economic slump the country is now facing. This "brain

drain" and transfer of funds, nevertheless, is not unique

to Jamaica; it is happening all over the world (Beiger,

1967). If United States' policy is in truth geared toward

helping the developing nations advance and be truly inde-

pendent, then according to Bob Graham, Governor of Florida


The United States government is in a particu-
larly advantageous position to reach out and
to offer assistance to those countries which
are their nearest neighbors and to establish
economic plans that will be the foundation
for stable political systems. (p. 5)

Graham further stated that agriculture in the Caribbean

Basin was in a shambles. As recently as the mid-1950's

the Caribbean Islands were more than self-sufficient in

terms of agriculture. Today Trinidad produces less than

28 percent of the food its people eat. The situation in

Trinidad is typical of what has happened to the agricul-

tural economy in the Caribbean and in Central America.

According to Strain (1962), the United States as a

part of national policy, committed herself to educational

assistance to developing nations. Florida, therefore,

can give to those countries through its higher education-

al institutions, a tremendous wealth of experience and

knowledge in the practical application of agricultural

techniques developed for climate and soil conditions which

are very similar to those conditions that exist in many

Caribbean nations (Graham, 1981).

In 1980, the different consulates from Latin America

and the Caribbean in South Florida were contacted for their

estimate of the immigrant population from their countries

in South Florida (McCoy and Gonzales, 1981). The following

demographic picture emerged for the various countries:

Haiti, 30,000; Colombia, 35,000-40,000; Puerto Rico, 40,000;

Jamaica, 14,000-20,000; Venezuela, 22,000; Nicaragua, 25,000;

Peru, 12,000; and Argentina, 6,000. These very imprecise

estimates should highlight the drama in South Florida with

regard to recent Latin and Caribbean immigration.

Because of the similarity of the physical environment

to that of Latin America and of the Caribbean, the South

Florida area appears to be very attractive to the people

from these countries. For this reason, not only have

Cubans been attracted to Miami and the rest of South

Florida, but also other Latins, and in particular the

Caribbean population, who see Miami as a cultural center

that offers great opportunities for them in the American

land of political and economic promise (McCoy and Gonzales,


This attraction is reflected in the growth of the pop-

ulation from Latin American and Caribbean, according to

the United States census of 1970. The population increased

from less than 5 percent in 1960 to a little less than 25

percent in 1970, and it is expected that both legal and

illegal immigration will continue from all the Latin

countries to the United States, mostly to the South

Florida area (Graham, 1981).

Although the Cuban and the Haitian immigrants are

the most publicized and offer the best examples of dif-

ferentiated treatment given two separate Latin groups,

other less-known and publicized immigrants from countries

like Colombia and Jamaica are examples of additional im-

migration that can be expected to continue regardless of

policy (McCoy and Gonzales, 1981).

This exodus could have stemmed from the political

and economical situation in Jamaica in the last deacde,

which created economic conditions that could have rival-

ed those that lead to the Cuban exodus. After the re-

election of Prime Minister Manly in 1975, Jamaicans

arrived almost daily in Dade County; they preferred South

Florida because of the reception and success of the Cubans

(McCoy and Gonzales, 1981). Today, with a change of

government, the migration of the Jamaicans may seem to

have subsided. However, it has only taken on a different

characteristic. The young people are being sent here in

a large number to study. This is portrayed in the in-

crease in numbers over the past years at the University

of Florida. In 1978, there were five Caribbean students

enrolled and in 1981-82, there are more than 150.

Although the present-day immigration problem in the

United States seem to be an unsurmountable one to the

Floridians, precedents have been set by the Cuban migra-

tion of the 1960's to show that it depends to a large

extent on the quality of the migrants. Miami's economic

development today owes part of its success to that group

of Cubans who came to these shores with money, skill,

and determination to succeed. According to Graham (1981),

we have benefited throughout our state's
history through waves of refugees. In the
past twenty years the new arrivals parti-
cularly from Cuba, have contributed great-
ly to the economic boom that we are now
experiencing. . But as we have bene-
fited by these waves of refugees--Miami
for instance has now supplanted New
Orleans as the capitol of the Caribbean
Basin--we are also discovering as New
Orleans did several decades ago that
there is a price tag attached to such
honors . . I have no fear what-so-
ever of overstating the situation when
I say that immigration in the United
States, both legal and illegal, will be
one of the most pressing and most vola-
tile issues facing our nation and the
state of Florida in the next decade. (p. 16)

International Students in the United States

International students comprise an important and

significant minority of the college and university student

population in the United States (Blankenship, 1980). For

the purpose of this study, the term international student

will be used in reference to students on "F" or "J" visas

and at times in reference to other categories of foreign-

born individuals, such as resident aliens (permanent resi-


One outstanding characteristic of the international

student flow into this country is its phenomenal growth

rate over the years. In 1930, approximately 9,600 stu-

dents from foreign countries studied in the United States

(DuBois, 1956). The records that the IIE has been keeping

since 1954, demonstrated that the number of the inter-

national students in the United States has increased from

23,232 to more than 235,000. Although the growth rate has

been continuous, it has varied during different time periods.

When the Institute published its first issue of Open Doors

(1955), it reported that there were 23,232 international

students attending colleges and universities in this coun-

try. Although there was a substantial increase in the

number of international students between 1957-58, the rate

of growth in 1962-63 was 50 percent greater (Open Doors,


In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson supported the es-

tablishment of the International Education Act which

authorized the creation of centers for advanced

international studies and grants for students to study at

those centers (Blankenship, 1980). Although the legisla-

tion was passed, Congress did not appropriate any federal

funds for its implementation. In spite of this limitation,

national attention was focused on the importance of inter-

national education. The number of international students

surpassed 100,000 in 1966 (Open Doors, 1967), representing

more than 170 countries.

In 1978, there were approximately 235,000 internation-

al students in institutions of higher education in the

United States (Julian, Lowenstein and Slattery, 1979).

The annual rate of increase of international student en-

rollment nationally for 1977-78 was 16 percent (Julian et

al., 1979).

International developments clearly indicate that the

dimensions of this movement will grow rather than diminish.

Particularly, more and more young people from the newer

nations and the developing areas will seek in the United

States knowledge to enable them to contribute to their

countries' thrusts toward economic growth and political

stability (Houlihan, 1961).

Many factors have contributed to this growth. Factors

which are external to American educational institutions in-

clude the expanding European Common Market, multinational

corporations' participation in international relationships,

and the increased involvement of developing countries in

international affairs (Hood and Reardon-Anderson, 1979).

Institutional factors include a decline in domestic stu-

dent enrollment, a need for additional financial re-

sources, and expansion of international programs.

According to the annual census of foreign students

conducted by the Institute of International Education

(IIE), there was a total of 311,882 foreign students in

higher education in the United States in 1981; this fig-

ure represents the largest total foreign students ever to

study in the United States. To carry out the survey, IIE

polled 3,250 academic institutions, of which 3,030 or 95

percent responded (Boyan, 1981).

The following table shows the annual rates of in-

crease for selected years for both the number of foreign

students and the number of institutions reporting (see

Table 1).

According to Boyan (1981),, Florida ranked among the

10 states with the largest numbers of reported foreign

students (see Table 2). Because of Florida's large inter-

national student population, and the rapid growth of in-

ternational education among institutions in the southern

region of the United States, there is a need for research

to be conducted on these students' adaptation and cultural-

ization problems (see Table 2).

Table 1

Reported Foreign Students and Number of
Reporting Institutions with Average Annual
Rates of Increase During Selected Years,

Average Number of Average
Reported Annual Reporting Annual
Foreign Rate of Institu- Rate of
Year Students Increase tions Increase

1954/55 34,232 1,629

1959/60 48,486 8.3 1,712 1.0%

1964/65 82,045 13.8 1,859 1.7%

1969/70 134,959 12.9 1,734 1.3%

1974/75 154,580 2.9 1,908 2.0%

1975/76 179,344 16.0 2,261 18.5%

1976/77 203,068 13.0 2,524 11.6%

1977/78 235,509 16.0 2,738 8.5%

1978/79 263,938 12.1 2,752 0.5%

1979/80 286,343 8.5 2,950 7.2%

Source: Institute of International Education, Open Doors
(New York: Institute of International Education,
1980). Reprinted by permission, (p.2).

Table 2

State with the Largest Number
of Foreign Students

California 47,621

Texas 24,416

New York 23,569

Massachusetts 12,607

Illinois 12,218

FLORIDA* 11,919

Michigan 10,559

Pennsylvania 8,919

Ohio 8,672

District of Columbia 8,499

Compiled from Open Doors 1979-80, 1981, pp.43 & 45.


The number of international students is continuing to

increase not only in Florida but in the entire U.S. of

America. According to Villa (1970), the first two inter-

national students to study in Florida were two Russian

students who enrolled in the College of Agriculture at the

University of Florida in 1889. In 1963, Florida ranked

15th nationally with a total international student

population of 1,076. Most of these students attended the

University of Miami, University of Florida, and Barry


In 1978 there were 9,209 international students en-

rolled in institutions of higher education in Florida

(Julian et al., 1979). This total represents 3.9 percent

of the total student enrollment in Florida. As reported

to the IIE (Julian et al., 1979), 76.3 percent (7,030) of

the international students are enrolled in two- and four-

year public institutions of higher education in Florida.

Approximately 51 percent (4,707) of the international stu-

dents are enrolled in two-year colleges in Florida.

In 1980, Florida ranked seventh nationally behind

California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois, and

Michigan in the total number of international students

attending post-secondary institutions (Julian et al., 1979).

Kaplan (1973) reported that, of the international

students enrolling in Florida's State University System (SUS)

institutions, 58 percent were undergraduate and 40 percent

were graduate students. These students represented 3 per-

cent of the total enrollment of SUS. The median age for

these students was 25. The distribution by sex was 70 per-

cent male, 14 percent female, and 16 percent unreported.

More current demographic data regarding SUS international

student characteristics were not available for this report.

Presently, Florida ranks sixth nationally behind California,

Texas, New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois, in the total

number of international students attending institutions of

higher education in the U.S. (Boyan et al., 1981) (see

Table 2.)

More and more as the United States asserts a leader-

ship role in the world community, her functions as a global

facilitator become increasingly evident as different

nations reach out for her technology. Part of this out-

reach involves bridging gaps of social and cultural distance

and discord. One way in which this bridging can be accom-

plished is through education.

Today, the United States has the opportunity to help

educate the people of the developing nations. This help is

not, however, in relationship to finance (Diener, 1978;

Kaplan, 1973). Statistics show that few students that are

here from other countries are in need of financial aid.

This is illustrated in the following figure (4).

Almost two-thirds of the students surveyed in a study

conducted by the Institute of International Education (IIE)

in 1979/80 (Boyan, et al., 1981) paid for their education

with personal and family funds. The second largest source

of funding came from foreign students' home governments,

followed by the students' colleges or universities which

provided 9.2 percent of all funds. Together, these sources


Percentage Distribution of Foreign Students by
Primary Source of Funds, 1979/80

R Home '--- Private

SForeign Funds uS Government sor
College or University

n Funds from Other
U.S. Sources
Figure 4. Percentage Distribution of Foreign Students by
Primary Source of Funds, 1979/80
Source: Institute of International Education, Open
Doors (New York: Institute of International
Education, 1980). Reprinted by permission.

of funds accounted for 87.6 percent of all foreign student

financial support. The remaining 12.4 percent of student

funding reported included foreign private sponsors (3.0%),

employment (2.7%), the U.S. Government (2.0%), and U.S.

private sponsors (1.9%).

Figure also identifies and separates two categories

of funding sources: (1) funds that are clearly identified

as being from the United States and (2) funds that are

clearly from foreign sources, or are identified as coming

from the student or his family. This categorization sug-

gests that 15.8 percent of foreign students' support comes

from U.S. sources, while as much as 81.4 percent may orig-

inate from outside the United States.

In addition, the following table (3) lists the number

and percentage of students that received each of the major

sources of funds for the academic years 1977/78-1979/80.

It can also be seen that support from U.S. sources

declined substantially. While 18.2 percent of foreign

students' funding came from U.S. sources in 1977/78, only

15 percent came from the same sources in 1979/80. It is

worth noting that the largest reduction occurred in U.S.

government support and in employment. To counterbalance

this drop in support from the United States, students

have been relying more heavily on their personal and fam-

ily funds and, where possible, on other sources. (See

Figure 5)

4C 0 "O N C) r-" OD aO O

0 a


r- 4-4 4- C r-- C n m r i r
cY 0 C -T r 1 m CDN r-m r-
4( 0- 0 C N O ON

L0 C: co a Ir N C0N C o

c n 4-4 --
Uo C)

0. ,
0 :3 C < N C-0 0C-

C) O
oC miC *i 0no

0C U- --

U )

N 44 NC --, V T 0
S 0 D O lO O c O
CD C) N 0 o fnC) T C
00 rg >1 (d

a4 = u a) n i 0
"0 ]n UriC T^C.

% 65


Percentage Distribution of Reported
Primary Sources of Funds
for Foreign Students, 1977/78-1979/80

1977/78 E
1978/79 M
" 1979/80 E2

Source: Institute of International Education, Open Doors
(New York: Institute of International Education,
1980). Reprinted by permission.

Foreign Student Orientation and Adaptation
to U.S. Culture and Educational System

What the foreign student needs from an orien-
tation is an awareness of himself and his own
culture. (Cormack, 1963, p.1)

Despite the great number of foreign students entering

United States' institutions of higher education each year,

very little is done by the universities and colleges to

orient these newcomers to life and study in these institu-

tions (Smith, 1965). The majority of students from the

developing world arrive in the United States with very

little idea of the organization of American institutions

of higher education, let alone with an understanding of

the cultural adjustment problems they will face (Cormack,


Although a number of orientation programs for foreign

students have been in operation for several years now, to

date, the most extensive orientation program has consisted

largely of essential information about the United States,

English-language study programs, and the counseling and

guidance programs in colleges and universities (Gullahorn

and Gullahorn, 1962).

Unfortunately, many of the formal orientation programs

are still limited to students coming to America on special

grants (Cormack, 1963). The need for orientation for all

foreign students is great, and it is very important that

it precedes, as far as possible, the beginning of registra-

tion and classes (Kline, 1953).

The first problem area that is usually dealt with in

an orientation program can be labeled academic. This in-

cludes such problems as understanding the requirements of

the American institution, registration procedures, class

assignments, difficulties in taking examinations, in writ-

ing research papers, difficulty in accepting degree require-

ments which have little relation to the student's needs,

and a host of associated problems.

In addition, there are two practical needs of every

foreign student that could be served by a proper orienta-

tion: 1) learning "American" English, and 2) learning how

to take an objective test. This is not suggesting that

these areas can be thoroughly taught in an orientation

program, but much frustration from trial-and-error learning

could be eliminated through a brief introduction to some

points of "American" style in English expression and

through the opportunity to take a few objective tests,

especially of the multiple-choice type, with some tips on

methods of studying for this type of test (Cormack, 1963).

While this information is necessary and useful, it is

also important to focus on the second problem which is the

students' need to understand an alien culture and live

effectively within it without damaging their loyalty to

their home and culture and their ability to live in it

when they return. "Understanding" the U.S. culture

involves communication between two cultures, and living

effectively involves personal adaptation to a new culture.

Cultural information is sometimes offered along with

the standard orientation services. But the quality, quan-

tity and timing of this material assumes increasing impor-

tance. According to Gullahorn and Gullahorn (1963), many

students either experience culture shock, cultural rejection,

or at least some form of personal culture crisis on their

arrival in a foreign country, and it is rarely resolved in

less than two years.

Since most students may stay in the United States

about three years, it is valid to seek orientation pro-

grams that shorten the acculturation period.

There are of course, numerous cultural subtleties

about which foreign students should learn (Altscher,

1976). The American college campus is in many ways a

culture of its own. The relationships with professors

and students, the social events and rituals, the grading

systems, all this will be strange and new to these stu-

dents. It seems a basic obligation, therefore, of any

American university that is interested and willing to have

foreign students on campus to ease their adjustment and

help them through the "culture shock" by means of an

orientation (Cormack, 1963).

The third general area may be called sociopersonal.

These are the kinds of problems which belong to foreign

students largely because they are human beings away from

home. They range from financial difficulties to homesickness

and everything in between. Problems which could be easily

solved for an American may require considerable ingenuity

when the foreign student faces them.

The orientation program, therefore, should address all

these areas so as to sensitize the students to the many

difficulties they may anticipate during their sojourn in

the United States. Brislin (1981) argues that worrying

about potentially stressful events is helpful as it forces

the person to learn as much as possible about the event, to

prepare for its negative effects so as not to be surprised

by them, and to envisage what he might do if any of the

negative effects indeed occurred.

The orientation concern in this study is related to

the students from Jamaica who are likely to be ill-tuned

to residing and studying in a highly industrialized and

bureaucratized society. There is the tough aspect of

finance, but there is also the more tender consideration

of the human beings whose lives are being altered. Higher

education abroad should result in more effective profes-

sional service and in happier personal lives. If improved

orientation programs, even if more costly, can aid in

these aims, they are worth it.

Solutions may be as simple as an explanation or, if

the problem requires it and the university is sensitive to

its responsibility, as difficult as the substitutions of

relevant course work for requirements that may have little

meaning in the students' home country.

According to Higbee (1962), a given university must

appraise the extent of its own collective knowledge about

professional, vocational, and skilled manpower needs of

those foreign countries and its knowledge about its appli-

cability of a given American curriculum to the practice of

a profession or vocation in the students' home country.

If a university possesses an acceptably high level of

knowledge in all the above areas, it must still determine

whether it has the time and willingness to practice a sys-

tem of academic advising which by its very special nature

will be time-consuming, administratively irregular, and



Foreign students go through a transitional process on

entering the American educational system. This process

involves personality growth and development along a number

of dimensions. Unfortunately, a number of students fail

to complete this process because hostile elements in their

environment become too strong for them to handle.

Bryce-Laport (1978) discussed the implications of

the migration of Caribbean students to the United States

for educators in both areas. He reported that Caribbean

students were highly motivated and mobile. These men and

women were willing to take risks, make sacrifices, and use

novel methods in order to achieve their goals. Yet, the

Caribbean experience in the United States has been accen-

tuated by a pattern of invisibility and inequality. Amer-

icans perceive the Caribbeans as they do low-status indi-

viduals. This lack of acceptance leads to alienation and

antagonism according to Bryce-Laporte (1978) and further

acts as an additional barrier in the students' adaptation

as is demonstrated in a student's out-cry "It hurts so much

to feel so alone where not a soul seems to care if you live

or die . these students are not friendly." This out-

cry illustrates some of the problems of alienation, anomie,

and rejection frequently encountered in cross-cultural ad-


Colleges and universities in the United States have

admitted foreign students for many years. These students

come to the United States because institutions of higher

learning in their countries do not offer the programs they

seek (Lee et al., 1981) and because they may consider it

more prestigious to study in a foreign country. Apart

from academic pressures, foreign students may encounter

problems in making adjustments to a novel culture and

on return home, may find it difficult to readjust to their

own culture. These issues have been examined by a number

of investigators.

Putman (1971) defined a foreign student as

A person who enrolls in a recognized educational
institution in a country other than his own and
who plans to return to his home country upon com-
pletion of his academic objectives. (pp. 491-492)

In numbers, Putman reported that more than 120,200 students

were enrolled in American colleges and universities in 1970.

According to Houlihan (1961), the most important single

experience in the foreign students' life in the United States

is their first one. The research claims that if someone who

is friendly and helpful is waiting for the international stu-

dent as he/she arrives in the country, future misunderstand-

ings and frustrations may be understood and accepted be-

cause "after all, Americans do want to be friendly, but

some misunderstandings are inevitable." Houlihan further

states that if the first experience in America is one of

confusion, misunderstanding, and loneliness, the inevitable

future frustrations reinforce a picture of an American who

does not care.

Post-admission adjustment of foreign students must

deal with a bewildering variety of individuals who have

little in common beyond the fact that they are foreign to

America. The problems the international students face

can be separated into three general areas for orientation.

First is the problem of communication; second is cultural

adjustment; and third is the sociopersonal area. For

some students the problem of communication involves the

need to learn to think, talk, read, and write in a dif-

ferent language from their own.

For all foreign students including Canadians, it

involves learning new vocabulary, new pronunciation, new

inflections, and much new slang and local usage (Porter,

1963). English instruction should be provided for foreign

students by taking them at the level of English language

competence they have achieved and, with as little wasted

time as possible, enable them to compete with American


For the universities to be able to help the foreign

students, it is not enough to look at the academic problems.

The students, on the other hand, to be able to take

advantage of their stay in the United States, need to be

socially and culturally satisfied. One way this could be

done is for the universities to help students with their

problem of adjustment.

Hull (1978) examined the foreign student's experience

through a series of questionnaires and interviews with

about 950 foreign students at three major universities.

Answers were sought to the question "What variables contrib-

ute to successful coping in a U.S. educational environment

for a foreign student?" (p. 14). Many variables were found

to be significant factors in student coping behavior. With

regard to teachers the relationship between satisfied and

dissatisfied students centered on variables like discrim-

ination and prejudice. In general, foreign students were

pleased with the teaching staff academically, but negative

cultural attitudes quite naturally presented obstacles in

the classroom.

During previous decades many researchers have recorded

the adjustment process of foreign students in their host

cultures (Lysgaard, 1955; DuBois, 1956; Gullahorn and

Gullahorn, 1963; Coelho, 1958; Sewell, Morris and Davidsen,

1961; Useem and Useem, 1955). According to Freese (1977)

and Bcwlby (1961) the transition from one culture to

another experienced by an immigrant involves a grieving

process that occurs in stages.

Researchers postulated four stages of adjustment for

foreign students (DuBois, 1956; Oberg, 1960). The first

stage is called the spectator stage. In this stage,

foreign students find their new environment to be exciting

and uplifting and report feelings of elation and optimism

associated with positive expectations regarding interaction

with their hosts. The students' morale is high at this

stage, due to the fact that they are more observers than

active participants. Gullahorn and Gullahorn (1963) adds

that during this stage there is initial excitement or

elation over new ideas or skills and fascination with the

food, people, and surroundings. But this is just a

temporary phase which Oberg (1972) and Kimball (1980)

refer to as the Honeymoon period. Bowlby (1961) and

Freese (1977) propose that for those who are here as

immigrants the experience is reversed. Their first stage

is grieving and during this process the immigrant

experiences numbness, shock and disbelief. Their

enthusiasm is slowly tempered by hardship, disappc

discrimination and in many instances poverty.

The first stage slowly evolves into the second

as they accept the reality that they are no longer

to see familiar faces and sights. This feeling of e

trangement heightened by the new environment causes one

to assume a minority status in a majority culture, wherein

one once was a member of the majority culture. Thus one

frequently hears such questions as "Why did I ever come here?

Why don't they like newcomers?"

According to Gullahorn and Gullahorn (1963) and DuBois

(1956), after a three to six month period, or the first

stage, the students enter the second stage. In this second

phase they become more involved in their new environment

bit encounter some problems in making the necessary adjust-

ments. The Honeymoon phase is soon replaced according to

Kimball (1980) by a more traumatic period of feelings of

depression and perhaps decrement in output as one encounters

difficulties and complexities. Typically, morale declines

in this stage while hostility and resentment tend to develop

and rise. This stage may continue for as long as 18 months

(DuBois, 1956).

As the students actually become involved in role

relationships and encounter frustrations in trying to

achieve certain goals when the proper means are unclear

or unacceptable, they become confused and depressed and

express negative attitudes regarding the host culture.

If they are able to resolve the difficulties encountered

during this crucial phase of the acculturation process,

they then achieve a modus vivendi enabling them to work

effectively and to interact positively with their hosts

(Gullahorn and Gullahorn, 1963).

For the immigrant student the second stage is charac-

terized by feelings of pain, despair and disorganization.

Homesickness sets in as persons experience their emotional

losses. In many instances, individuals who previously

had criticized their homeland tend now to idealize it.

Defense mechanisms such as displacement, projection and

reaction formation tend to be used frequently. Feelings

of confusion, loneliness and a sense of isolation are

common as they deeply feel the loss of familial and

support network.

In the third stage, as postulated by DuBois, the

foreign student develops strategies designed to deal with

the state of affairs. Language skills improve, friends

are made, and cultural adjustments take place. Finally,

there is a sense of satisfaction and perhaps even of

personal growth as they emerge from the plateau, restruc-

ture the problems, and begin to work effectively (DuBois,

1956, p. 35).

Essentially, the acculturation process may be
interpreted as a cycle of adult socialization
occurring under conditions where previous
socialization offers varying degrees of faci-
litation and interference in the new learning
context. As a consequence of previous social-
ization, sojourners learn value orientations
which provide a framework for evaluating be-
havior in role interactions. The result is
that when two members of a particular social
system are interacting each can anticipate
the other's responses with sufficient accu-
racy so that his behavior is likely to elicit
the results he desires (Parson, 1951). Al-
though certain aspects of the American culture

may not be taken favorably, the foreign stu-
dent tends to remain reticent. (DuBois, 1956,
p. 35)

The non-immigrant student, during this third phase

also faces reality as expressed in the notion, "I cuess

we are here to stay." There is a resolution to reorganize

one's life, start anew and build new relationships. It

appears as if during this stage the immigrant ceases to

grieve over his losses and begins to accept a new role

in a new environment (Toomer, 1981).

The fourth stage is called the predepartive stage.

At this time, the foreign student tends to withdraw from

the American culture and develop anxieties about returning

home. It is to be expected that the cross-cultural

sojourner in the new environment generally behaves almost

automatically in a manner compatible with his primary

reference group in his home culture, because they do not

bring with them the psychological support of familiar

people, situations, and conditions. Novel cultural cues

may not be perceived and actions may be inappropriate.

Although socialization begins with the family form,

educational institutions have their effect. Consequently,

an individual participating in another country's educational

program must be familiar with that country's culture. This

familiarity alone is not sufficient for academic success.

The foreign student must also identify, comply with and

internalize a set of different values, attitudes and

social behaviors. As adjustments are made by the foreign

student, his own cultural concepts tend to erode. Yet

Pool (1965) declared that "in many cases the most profound

effect of the foreign students' stay in a strange land is

a better appreciation and understanding of their home

country" (p. 77). Tamar (1971) claims that "commitment

to the home country's cultural values is the least vulner-

able to erosion through prolonged sojourn" (p. 468).

The process through which foreign students adjust to

their lives in the United States may be called minoritiza-

tion (Gullahorn and Gullahorn, 1962, p. 131), and includes

the social interactions which occur between the student and

American society. The foreign students are socialized into

American society by learning its mores, and they assume the

behaviors which maximize their adjustment on their own terms.

The literature on race relations and minority treatment in

the United States suggests interesting parallels: Minorities

are perceived as groups which are apart from the mainstream.

Thus they are seen as politically, socially, and economi-

cally different than typical Americans. Therefore, the

foreign students find a lack of consensus between their

own and their hosts' expectations regarding appropriate

role behavior. This cultural shock will vary according

to the character of the individual and the difference

between his/her home culture and the American culture.

Depending upon certain personality variables the

individual, in an attempt to adapt to the American

society, may experience a form of what he referred to

as "identity diffusion" where there is an inner experi-

ence of internal sense of evaluation. A second reaction

is the "defensive narrowness" (DeVos, 1980). These

intellectual processes are not developed as a means of

coping with the external world; instead the individual

creates psychological barriers against possible enriching

experiences from the host culture. A third reaction

consists of a more flexible maintenance of our identity by

emphasizing thought over feeling. (Toomer, 1981)

Culture Shock

Culture shock is a function of the individual's re-

sponse to a given situation (Kimball, 1980). According to

Oberg (1960), Culture Shock is an occupational disease of

people who have been suddenly transported abroad. He

claims that it is precipitated by the anxiety that results

from losing all their familiar signs and symbols of social

intercourse. Oberg lists the kinds of thoughts and be-

havior manifested by those who are so afflicted

Some of the symptoms of culture shock are: ex-
cessive washing of the hands; excessive concern
over drinking water, food, dishes, and bedding;

fear of physical contact with attendants or ser-
vants; the absent-minded, far-away stare (some-
times called the tropical stare); a feeling of
helplessness and a desire for dependence on
long-term residents of one's own nationality;
fits of anger over delays and other minor fru-
strations; delay and outright refusal to learn
the language of the host country; excessive
fear of being cheated, robbed, or injured;
great concern over minor pains and erruptions
of the skin; and finally, the terrible longing
to be back home, to be able to have a good cup
of coffee and a piece of apple pie, to walk in-
to that corner drugstore, to visit one's rela-
tives, and in general, to talk to people who
really make sense. (Oberg, 1960, p. 178)

Other aspects of culture shock were also listed by Cberg.

He observed that the degree of stress varies from one

individual to another. One may experience either a

severe or a mild case of the "disease," as he labels

it. He added that there are some people who cannot live

in an alien culture. In addition he noted some regularity

in the sequence of stages through which an individual

passes. These are the euphoric delight of an initial

honeymoon period followed by a state of aggressive hos-

tility toward all aspects of the host country. In extreme

cases the individual may suffer a nervous breakdown which

is caused by structural imbalance (Heider, 1958). When

the individual can move about easily and comfortably in

the new environment, then adjustment has been realized.

Oberg (1960) advises that the cure is hastened if one

gets to know the new culture and the people.

According to Kimball (1980), there are usually two

avenues opened for those in a state of culture shock to

restore their equilibrium. They can retreat to the situa-

tions where the correspondence between the outside and the

inside is familiar, and hence normal, or they can learn

new criteria by which one identifies and responds to the


Traditionally, culture shock has been looked on as a

form of anxiety. This anxiety leads to misperceptions of

common signs and symbols of social interaction. Individuals

may react to culture shock along a continuum ranging from

mild irritability to panic. Those who are experiencing

culture shock may demonstrate their discomfort by feeling

helpless, annoyed, cheated, or disregarded.

Confronting the realities of living in a new country

always arouses feelings of sadness and disorientation.

Namias (1978) and Sowell (1978) suggest that dislocation

places individuals in the midst of a crisis, and the reac-

tions expressed are described as similar to that of "grief."

Fried (1977) described the process of dislocation evolving

into feelings of pain, loss, a sense of helplessness, di-

rect and displaced anger, and idealization of the lost


Although it is a negative concept, culture shock may

also be looked upon in a positive sense because men and

women who go through the experience become more mature

psychologically. Adler (1975) feels that the frustration

met in the culture shock experience and the individual's

responses are important in understanding personality

changes. These changes can lead to higher levels of

personality development. Or, transitional experiences

of this type contain the potential for personality growth.

Adler stated 4 assumptions before he prepared a model

designed to depict these transitional experiences.

First, the individual is forced into a situation

characterized by tension. In order to resolve this ten-

sion, the individual must redefine his psychological posi-

tion. Second, each person defines his world through cul-

turally influenced notions. Third, most individuals are

not aware of their own beliefs and values, and transition-

al experiences tend to illuminate them. Fourth, psycholog-

ical adjustments tend to bring out novel personality forms,

forms which allow the individual to identify and cope with

the adjustments in his environment.

The Culture Shock story is told of an American lec-

turer who encountered an unexpected difference in role

behavior in a foreign institution and found that he had

to change his usualpractice of arriving early for class


I started out early one day and my assistant . .
grabbed me by the arm and said, "You mustn't go
early." I didn't understand this and told him
that I often did because I liked to write things
on the blackboard and liked to chat with students.

He said, "But don't you see what happens?" I told
him no I couldn't see that anything was happening.
He said, "Well, if you come early, not a student
may come into the classroom after you have enter-
ed." It occurred to me that this was true. After
I came in, not a single student did. They consid-
ered themselves late if they arrived after the
professor, and so they would not enter, because to
arrive late would be a mark of disrespect. Conse-
quently, thereafter the professor never went to
class until fifteen minutes after the hour.
(Gullahorn and Gullahorn, 1963, p. 243)

Aside from variations in classroom behavior in differ-

ent universities' social systems, there is considerable

variance in the degree of social distance characteristic

of faculty-student relations in different cultures. In

commenting on his overseas experience, for example, one

American professor noted

Another thing I did that proved extremely dis-
turbing to the faculty was to invite the stu-
dents to my home . All in all, I think the
faculty . considered that the Americans
have still remained rebels, and that the
revolution is aimed at the educational insti-
tutions . . (Gullahorn and Gullahorn,

Conversely, foreign students at American institutions are

at first confused and disturbed by what they perceive to

be the lack of deference their American peers exhibit to-

ward their professor.

Closely related to the issue of differing patterns

of faculty-student relations is the general area of cul-

tural divergences in definitions regarding the rights and

obligations involved in friendship relationships (Lewin,

1948). There is considerable variance across cultures in

the length of acquaintance preceding the establishment of

first-name relationships as well as in the introduction of

a stranger into one's home; furthermore, there are differ-

ences in the degree of intimacy of friendship implied by

such behavior. In the United States, foreign sojourners

often initially feel overwhelmed by the apparent openness

and "friendliness" of their hosts; however, when they find

that an invitation to an American's home does not neces-

sarily indicate strong affective sentiments, they tend to

characterize American friendship relationships as "super-


Aside from cultural differences in role expectations,

a more covert source of potential misunderstanding among

those involved in cross-cultural contact situations arises

from the subtle expectations developed in the very process

of learning a particular language. In the Japanese langu-

age, for example, the honorifics, syntax, and choice of

lexical items,are clustered for use depending upon the

relative prestige of the interaction partners; consequently

the language presents built-in status cues for its users.

Such cues are absent in the relatively egalitarian structure

of the English language, a factor contributing to what

Bennett and Associates (1958) characterize as "status-cue

confusing" among Japanese sojourners in the United States.

Thus the verbal cues occurring during a conversation with

an American professor may lead a Japanese student to

feel he/she is receiving what he/she perceives as peer

treatment from someone he/she considers a superior status

person. In the new cultural context, therefore, the

Japanese sojourner can no longer depend largely upon

language as an index of status but must learn to discrim-

inate cues from other behaviors of his hosts.

Even in the area of non-verbal communication, oppor-

tunities for misinterpretation are legion. There are

marked differences across cultures concerning such simple

behavior as the spatial placement of partners. In normal

social interaction, partners are close to the physical

proximity that evokes either sexual or hostile feelings

in the North American (Hall, 1959).

With so many potential sources of confusion and

frustration for the sojourner attempting to adjust to

an alien social system, it is not surprising that this

phase of adjustment is sometimes termed "cultural shock"

to designate the psychological impact of the distortion

or absence of familiar cues. Of course, individual

personality differences account for some of the variance

in the severity and duration of this anomic period. In

addition, however, data from the Social Science Research

Council (SSRC) studies of foreign students in the United

States suggest that there are cultural patternings in

the defense mechanisms exhibited at this time. For

example, Indian and Pakistani students tend to display

hypersensitive hostility in responding to the ego threat

inherent in their perception of a derogatory American

image of their homelands (Lambert and Bressler, 1955).

Following Ichheiser's terminology, Coelho (1958) charac-

terizes this reaction as the "motebean" mechanism of

projection wherein the Indian student who is asked, for

example, about the caste situation responds by attacking

the American handling of Negroes. According to Bennett

and Associates (1958), Japanese students, on the other

hand, respond to situations of threat to their national

esteem by withdrawing, a reaction apparently consonant

with their cultural norm of "emryo," or reserve.

In addition, we may note that the problems encounter-

ed by the cross-cultural sojourner are those of marked

cognitive reorientation involving changes in feelings as

well as overt behavior. For many years industry has been

experimenting with such a restraining of relatively normal

persons in stressful situations. Various labels are ap-

plied to this endeavor, such as sensitivity training or

human relations in industry.

Foreign students who are studying in the United States

are considered to be high risks (Walter, 1978). These

students are under a great deal of tension, and counseling

services designed for them have not been effective. Addi-

tionally, American counselors have not been trained to deal

with individuals whose cultural values differ from their

own. Consequently, counseling services for foreign students

must be improved if their needs are going to be met.

When a foreign student needs help, he/she will turn

to other foreign students rather than trained counselors.

This strategy limits the foreign student's adaptation to

his/her host culture and, in turn, his independence.

Walter added that though cross-cultural counseling may

be a difficult process, it is not impossible. This type

of counseling will be effective if counselors will consider

all the characteristics of the foreign student including

his/her cultural background. While other counseling

skills are necessary, formal training is necessary to

acquire them.

Senner (1978) studied the problems experienced by

foreign students, assessed their intensity and attempted

to link this intensity to 7 demographic variables. The

investigator selected 166 foreign students who were enrolled

at a single university and asked them to complete a ques-

tionnaire titled "Concerns of International Students."

This instrument was constructed with statements taken from

the literature at large. A Likert-type scale was used to

rank the responses in line with the respondent's intensity.

Senner found differences in the concerns of students

at the graduate and undergraduate levels with regard to

curriculum and instruction. Senner also found relationships

for age and "personal and psychological relations," grade-

point average and "adjustment to college work," and the

number of years a student spent studying English and "the

future: vocational and educational."

Foreign students perceived their education in the

United States as a period in which they could improve their

minds and travel through the country. Working on a part-

time basis during the school year or during vacations was

looked on as a way of showing financial concern. The stu-

dents did not appear to be too disturbed about activities

which disrupted their long-term goals momentarily. Some

students did exhibit needs for cultural accommodations,

communication, and coping ability.

Senner concluded his study by stating that future

research activities should be directed toward examining

the differences between foreign and American students in

the problems they encounter during their academic careers.

Differences in the perceptions of graduate and undergraduate

students toward curriculum and instruction would also be

a fruitful area of research activity.

Carey and Maram (1980) reviewed the literature on in-

ternational education and reported that little information

has appeared on the dynamics of the socialization and ac-

culturation processes. The influence of the foreign stu-

dent on the host country has also been ignored. Therefore,

Carey and Maram investigated these issues and proposed a

theory which could be used to study the adjustment of

foreign students in the United States.

According to Carey and Maram, foreign students tend

to form cliques and avoid the mainstream of American life.

These students form cliques because they lack language

command, are unable to define reference groups, tend to

be disoriented and have financial problems. Carey and

Maram considered these points and proposed a socialization

model based on studies of minority groups in the United


Although socialization begins with the family form,

educational institutions have their effect. Consequently,

an individual participating in another country's educational

program must be familiar with that country's culture. Alone,

this familiarity is not sufficient for academic success.

The foreign student must also identify, comply with, and

internalize a set of different values, attitudes, and

social behaviors.

While the number of foreign students enrolled in

American colleges and universities may exceed one million

by 1990, they tend to major in a limited number of areas

(Bradshaw and McKinnon, 1980). Engineering, business,

science, and mathematics attract roughly two-thirds of

the foreign students in the United States. The foreign

students who remained in the United States after gradu-

ation had no problems with job placements, but those who

decided to return home posed a challenge to school

placement officials. Most foreign students will probably

choose to return home in the future because of improving

economic conditions and the placement problems must there-

fore be recognized and attended to by responsible officials.

Bradshaw and McKinnon found that faculty members held

two incorrect assumptions about foreign students. First,

many faculty members were not aware that a problem existed.

They assumed that opportunities were available in the

United States and that students would prefer to remain

rather than return to a less developed country. The as-

sumption was that foreign students came from wealthy fami-

lies and had no placement problems. To learn how to put

training into action may be of even greater urgency; the

application of newly acquired skills in an old environ-

ment can sometimes present more problems than the actual

learning process (Kline, 1953).

Applicability of United States
Education to the Third World Countries

The geometric burgeoning of the number of foreign

students studying in the United States' institutions of

higher education has created certain unresolved academic

and administrative dilemmas for their host institutions.

These dilemmas, in part, are the result of an effort to

answer the philosophical question posed constantly:

"toward what end are the American institutions of higher

education, educating the foreign students?"

Perhaps it can also be fairly asked, why American

educators should be overly concerned with the education

of foreigners seeing that they represent only 1.5 percent

of the total enrollment in institutions of higher education.

Moreover, one could assume that if the international stu-

dents chose to study here it is because they have decided

that the American curricular offerings satisfy their edu-

cation and training needs (Higbee, 1962). Based on these

assumptions, one could argue that the American institution

of higher education is not obligated to change its program

to meet the international students' need. But if any uni-

versity should take that line of action, then it is morally

and ethically wrong in admitting these students (Blankenship,

1980). According to Parrish (1977), in accepting foreign

students, a United States institution should constantly be

aware of its responsibilities to the students and provide

the education programs that these students will be able

to utilize on returning to their countries (Blankenship,


A number of recent surveys give a disturbing picture

of the difficulty experienced by foreign specialists and

professional people trained in the United States in adapting

their training to the needs of their own peoples. Profes-

sional divisions, schools, and colleges should develop pro-

grams designed specifically to help foreign students to

acquire skills which will be relevant when they attack

poverty, hunger, disease, and ignorance at home (Caldwell,


Kerr (1975) states that

"an educational institution which accepts foreign
students must assume certain continuing obligations
to them. Students from other cultures present
special needs related to their own cultures. Ed-
ucational institutions, therefore, must be mindful
of their capabilities and make suitable provision
to meet them." (p.1)

Fuller (1978) has depicted a future scenario of the

U.S. as the higher education factory of the world which

he refers to as the "educationalization of America" (p. 40).

The basic premise is that American higher education can

be compared to other American exports. As America becomes

more dependent on imported natural resources, higher edu-

cation can become a major export in the balance of inter-

national trade (Blankenship, 1980).

Although Fuller's "educationalization of America" is

possible, there are other obstacles that have to be over-

come by educational planners before it can be considered

probable. Martorana (1978) categorized these obstacles

or constraints into the following taxonomy: (a) education-

al and philosophical, (b) fiscal, (c) political, and (d)


These constraints or obstacles are not insurmountable

in light of the growing need to improve American foreign

policy. If international students return to their coun-

tries to assume a leadership role, it is conceivable that

the spillover effect will provide improved communications

between respective countries. It can be contended that

these obstacles or constraints can be overcome considering

the importance of international education to American for-

eign policy.

There are American universities which send their pro-

fessors on exchange programs and on AID missions to many

nations. Yet these institutions, with thousands of foreign

students from all over the world, may remain virtually un-

changed in the basic academic orientation.

The following assumptions are basic to a rationale

for including international education as part of the pro-

gram of higher education:

(1) Unless national public policy is changed
to restrict the entry of international
students, the number of international
students entering the universities will
continue to increase;

(2) The American system of higher education
will remain competitive (in terms of
direct/indirect educational costs,
quality of programs/services), with
other countries' educational systems;

(3) The obstacles or constraints to imple-
menting programs for international
students are resolvable;

(4) The disparity between industrialized
countries and third-world countries
could accelerate if human resources
are not shared.

Through her different agencies and foundation's schol-

arship program, America has given numerous opportunities to

international students to study here in the U.S. However,

not only have U.S. institutions of higher education been

indifferent to the adjustment problems of foreign stu-

dents, but they have also given little attention to such

problems of foreign students as the relevancy of American

educational programs for the developing world.

Today, many developing countries are themselves ques-

tioning the suitability of western technology, education,

and culture for their countries (Lee et al., 1981) since

degree requirements are narrowly prescribed and foreign

students have little opportunity to mold their programs

to fit their own needs. Theoretically, North American

professors who advise and teach foreign students might

help students to relate their course work to the needs

and realities of their particular countries. This would

give students the information needed to return to their

country and to be able to perform with confidence as a

professional on their return. This sort of help is what

the "Third World" needs: students educated to translate

the educational technology they have received in the

United States to their countries' realities so as to be

able to help in the process of social change and economic


According to Brislin and Van Buren (1974) Benjamin

Franklin (1784) once related an experience he had with

people from one culture to another

At the Treaty of Lancaster, in Pennsylvania, anno
1744, between the Government of Virginia and the
6 Nations, the commissioners from Virginia ac-
quainted the Indians by speech, that there was at
Williamsburg College a fund for educating Indian
youths . and if the chiefs of the 6 Nations
would send down half a dozen of their sons to
that college, the government would take care that
they be well provided for, and instructed in all
the learning of the white people.

The Indian's spokesman replied

We are convinced . that you mean to do us good
by your proposal and we thank you heartily. But
you, who are wise, must know that different nations
have different conceptions of things; and you will
not therefore take it amiss, if our ideas of this
kind of education happen not to be the same as yours.
We have had some experience of it; several of our
young people were formerly brought up at the college

of northern provinces; they were instructed in
all your sciences; but, when they came back to
us, they were bad runners, ignorant of every
means of living in the woods, unable to bear
either cold or hunger, knew neither how to
build a cabin, take a deer, nor kill an enemy,
spoke our language imperfectly, were therefore
neither fit for hunters, warriors, nor counsel-
ors; they were totally good for nothing.

We are however not the less obligated by your
kind offer, though we decline accepting it;
and, to show our grateful sense of it, if the
gentlemen of Virginia will send us a dozen of
their sons, we will take care of their educa-
tion, instruct them in all we know, and make
men of them. (p. 10)

International education and foreign affairs involve

the university in benefolent over-seas and on-campus ac-

tivities, but the academic structure may remain without

genuine awareness of the breadth and depth of the changes

in the human condition, and in the body of learning

(Caldwell, 1969).

American universities have the opportunity and the

obligation, according to Caldwell, to work with the devel-

oping nations in technical assistance programs. This, he

claims has generally involved the application of American

solutions to the problems of the developing countries.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that American solutions

are not necessarily valid outside the United States according

to the literature. If the university is to serve effect-

ively as a partner to universities and governments in other

lands, then American technology must be modified to make

it relevant to the needs of societies auite different from

the United States (Caldwell, 1969).

Reentry Problems that Students Can
Anticipate Encountering on
Their Return to Their Native Lands

When a person lives in a culture other than his own

for a significant length of time, his attitudes and out-

look change (Bochner, 1973; Useem and Useem, 1955; Cleveland

et al., 1968). Many aspects of his home country will also

have changed, for instance, the attitudes of his friends

and family and the physical elements of the environment

that he/she remembers.

Perhaps the university can play a very important role

in helping students to become aware of the reentry prob-

lem that they will face so that they will not be trauma-

tized on reaching their country and abandon the ship pre-

maturely. To look homeward with a sense of security and

confidence in family, community, and national relationships

is surely just as important to the foreign student as his/

her social and academic adjustment while away from his/her


Orr (1971) reviewed the research on foreign students

who studied in American colleges and universities and tried

to identify patterns and factors in their experiences on

their return to their home countries. Orr emphasized four

points in his study: (1) personal changes which occurred

as a result of the student's American experience, (2) use

of the skills learned in America, (3) readjustments made

on returning home, and (4) the student's effectiveness as

a cultural change agent.

Most of the research Orr examined was funded by the

federal government. Married males from urban areas who

were sponsored by a foreign government served as the focus

for a majority of the studies. Most foreign students re-

ported that they were changed by their educational exper-

iences in America. Specifically, they described themselves

as more flexible, more insightful, and more sensitive to

others' concerns. These students said that they gained

self-confidence, self-discipline, social responsibility,

and better work habits. Additionally, the foreign students

were more socially and politically discriminating and dev-

eloped understandings as to the unity of mankind and poli-

tical realities. The time a foreign student spent in the

United States seemed to be a strong factor here because

the younger men and women who spent more time in America

appeared to show the most change.

When they returned home, many students reported that

they had adjustment problems. The returnees had to control

the mannerisms they learned in America and limited their

criticisms of their home countries. Most of the problems

encountered by the students were described as slight.

Stronger problems were experienced by younger students,

more alienated men and women, those who were from countries

which were at odds with the United States, students from

rigid societies, and those who felt that they had no in-

fluence in their home cultures.

Most of the returnees were able to use the knowledge

they acquired but the extent of this use was dependent on

the returnee's field of interest. Surprisingly, most of

the returnees reported that their American experience had

no major influence on their careers. Orr concluded his

study by stating that stronger predeparture programs for

returning foreign students should be planned. Closer

governmental ties should be developed and further research

on foreign alumni ought to be conducted in order to deter-

mine the effectiveness of these programs.

According to Jones (1972), little research has been

conducted as to how foreign students use the feel toward

the education they received in the United States. With

these points in mind, Jones prepared a questionnaire to

collect information from foreign-born graduates of American

universities who returned to their home countries. Jones

was interested in their vocations, attitudes towards others,

personal lives, contributions to their countries, use of

English, and perceptions of their American education. The

foreign students' advisors were also questioned on the

final point. Various comparisons were made in the analyti-

cal component of the study.

A number of significant findings emerged in the ana-

lyses. Generally, the foreign students were satisfied

with their American education. They rose to responsible

positions, enjoyed high salaries, and contributed in a

number of ways to their countries' welfare. Moreover,

the value of their American education was not limited to

their academic experiences as comments were made on their

stay in America as well. Jones reported that the percep-

tions of the students' advisors were not in total agree-

ment with the students' perceptions. The differences,

however, were not strong.

United States government assistance programs, such

as those funded by the United States Agencies for Inter-

national Development (USAID), have brought more than

130,000 students and scholars from developing countries to

be trained in the areas of agriculture, health, and nutri-

tion to the United States (McLaughlin, 1978). Currently,

there are some 7,000 participants sponsored by USAID

receiving academic or technical training in the United

States and approximately 3,000 are new arrivals (Lee

et al., 1981).

When these participants come to the United States,

they bring with them a desire for education to provide

them with the professional, social, and personal skills

required for a meaningful role in their society. While

pursuing this goal they must also become involved in

the daily life of the United States, their host country.

It is at this point that they are exposed to new and

different societal values, roles, rights, and responsibil-

ities. In short, they are suddenly in an alien culture

which requires a significant adaptation.

The international students are required to compare

these new and different cultural factors with those of

their own culture and decide how best to cope with them.

Depending upon the individual, the length of his sojourn,

and the cultural differences and similarities, the level

of adaptation will be determined. While there is not suf-

ficient research on the adaptation of the Caribbean student

to make any generalizations, research on foreign students

in the United States indicates that many students either

do not adapt or return home without having attained their

educational goals. If, on the other hand, they are able

to complete their academic programs, they still do not

enter into meaningful participation in American culture.

Research on the problems of foreign students indicates

that some nationalities experience greater and different

adaptation difficulties than others.

An interesting and important fact that has emerged

from research in recent years is that a person who is most

successful at adjusting to a new culture is often the worst

at readjusting to his old culture (Bochner, 1973).

According to Brislin and Van Buren (1974), the explanation

is that a person who adjusts readily is one who can accept

new ideas, meet and talk intelligently with people from

many countries, and be happy with the stimulation that he

finds everyday. This same person may readjust poorly

when he goes home since his new ideas conflict with tra-

dition. He may not find any internationally minded

person with whom to interact, and so find that he is no

longer stimulated in the country he already knows so well.

Training to prepare people for such reverse culture shock

problems is uncommon, but the need to look at the reentry

problems according to the research is extremely necessary.

The literature and research cited in this chapter

have supported the need for additional research in inter-

national students' adaptation, acculturation and reentry




The purpose of this study was to explore the experi-

ences and impressions of Jamaicans who are undergraduate

students at the University of Florida. This chapter will

provide information on the subjects, the design, and the

procedures followed for the main study and the pilot study

which includes (1) theoretical foundation of the ques-

tionnaire, (2) development of the questionnaire aimed

at obtaining pertinent information concerning the Jamaican

students' experiences and impressions at the University

of Florida, (3) establishment of the content validity of

that questionnaire, (4) obtaining a stratified random

sample from the Jamaican student population for the infor-

mal interview, and (5) field study and data collection.


The subjects in this study were the Jamaican stu-

dents who met with the criteria set by the researcher.

These criteria were (1) subjects could not be graduate

students, (2) subjects could not hold dual citizenship,

(3) subjects could not be married to a U.S. citizen and

(4) subjects could not be classified as seniors at the

University of Florida.

A student coming from Jamaica to the University of

Florida may fall into three categories: (1) students that

have their high school diploma, (2) students that have

taken the 0 Level examination, and (3) students that have

taken the A Level examination. According to the impression

of the interviewees, 95 percent felt that the student who

came with A Levels were coping academically better than

the others. Five percent of the students felt that there

was no difference between the 0 Level and A Level students

in their academic achievement, but that there was an

obvious difference with those that came and finished high

school in the United States in relation to their academic


Based on the students choice of subjects and careers

they are pursuing at the University of Florida, it seems

as if they have continued the Jamaican elitist trend of

choosing the sciences over liberal arts, even though they

might not be coping in those areas.

Of the 80 students enrolled for the academic year

1981-1982, 47 or 58.75 percent were enrolled in the

sciences. Five (5) or 6.25 percent were enrolled in

architecture and business management, 2 or 2.5 percent

in foreign language, 5 or 6.25 percent in education, and

4 or 5 percent in psychology. This is illustrated in

Figure 6.

Content Validity and Reliability
of the Instrument

"One way of conceptualizing content validity is to

consider it an estimate of the representativeness of the

content of the instrument as a sample of all possible

content" (Fox, 1969, p. 370). In this study, therefore,

content validity was established through independent

judgments obtained from the three experts on the panel.

Pilot Study

The names of the Jamaican student population at the

University of Florida during the academic year 1981-1982

were obtained from the International Student Center and

from the Caribbean Student Association Organization at

the University of Florida.

The pilot study was conducted to determine: (1)

the appropriateness of the questionnaire in securing the

data, (2) to insure clarity of instruction of items on

the questionnaire, (3) to set a time frame for completion

of the questionnaire, and (4) to determine potential

response rate.

Distribution of Students by
Different Subject Areas


Figure 6. Distribution of Students by
Different Subject Areas.

The questionnaires and a self-addressed stamped en-

velope to facilitate return of the questionnaires were

personally delivered to each of the 20 Jamaican students

who were randomly selected from the pilot study from a

population of 86.

Each questionnaire was pre-coded to facilitate the

follow-up with the non-respondents who were instructed to

respond within ten days. The respondents were asked to

answer the questionnaire and to indicate the length of

time it required for its completion. Participants were

further asked to indicate the items they considered

unclear. Finally, they were asked to comment on areas

which they felt needed to be pursued in the interview.

Participants were also asked to indicate any changes

or additions they deemed necessary to improve the format

and or general comprehensiveness of the items.

A total of 20 pilot questionnaires were distributed.

twenty students completed and returned the questionnaires

making it a 100 percent returned, but only 18 were thor-

oughly completed making the rate of usage return 90 per-

cent for the pilot study.

From the responses received with reference to the

time needed to complete the questionnaire, there was a

98 percent agreement that it required one hour. The

time, therefore, was set for one hour for the completion

of the questionnaire for the principal study.

Furthermore, 75 percent of the subjects in the pilot

study suggested that item numbers 31, 32, 38, 39, 40, and

41 should be verbally discussed. This suggestion was

taken into consideration, and followed through in the

taped interviews.


The questionnaire was administered to the entire

Jamaican student population enrolled at the University

of Florida during the academic year 1981-1982, who met

with the criteria set by the researcher. Of the 150

students, 86 met with the criteria to be eligible to

participate in the study. Of the 86 students who par-

ticipated 80 completed the questionnaires to the satis-

faction of the researcher. Of these N=80 subjects, a

stratified random sample of 25 students were further

selected to be interviewed.

Development of the Questionnaire

The instrument that was used was one developed by

the researcher. The questionnaire (Appendix, p. 150)

was constructed on the sequential topic basis. The

first sequence solicited background data. The second

sequence solicited answers on their pre-university

orientation. The third sequence solicited answers on

their cultural adaptation, experiences and impressions

of the United States and fourth, solicited reentry

considerations to their home.

Theoretical Foundation

The theoretical foundation on which the question-

naire was constructed is based on "A Model of Man in

Change" in The Peasant Venture by Paul Magnarella (1979).

This model helps one to understand the problems encoun-

tered by foreign students and alerts the reader to the

problems the students are likely to face on their return

to their homeland. According to Magnarella "the basic

model's components were derived from a number of dif-

ferent social and behavior science paradigms was found

to be partially congruent, complementary, and/or

mutually supporting" (p. 128). Magnarella attributes

some of the components of his model to the theories of

Charles Eramus, and to the humanistic psychology of

Alfred Adlers' learning theory, modeling theory, and

reference group theories, among others.

According to Lee et al. (1981), a common understand-

ing of human beings is that they have various needs and

that they tend to behave in a certain manner in order to

satisfy those needs. There are two categories into which

needs can be classified: physiological needs and social-

psychological needs. Physiological needs are basic to

human beings and there seems to be a consensus as to the

nature of these needs within the literature (e.g.

Seidenberg and Snadowski, 1976; Berkowitz, 1969; Maslow,

1943; Lee et al., 1981; and Magnarella, 1979). Social-

psychological needs are those which an individual has

by virtue of the fact that he or she resides in a social

environment and lives in relation to other human beings

(Lee et al., 1981). Those needs, therefore, are princi-

pally the result of social learning (Lindgren, 1973;

Magnarella, 1979) which reflects one's past experience

as a member of a society and one's present social milieu.

With regard to social-psychological needs there seems to

be less consensus found in the literature.

While physiological needs can be modified, in their

intensity by social learning, social-psychological needs

are even more responsible to such modification (Lindgren,

1973). In order to identify specific needs of the subjects

one ought to examine aspects of their cultural background

and social system in which they functioned as members

(Parsons and Shils, 1965; Magnarella, 1979). Maslow (1943)

ranked basic human needs (e.g. hunger, thirst), safety

needs (e.g. affection, identification), esteem needs (e.g.

prestige, success self-respect) and need for self-

actualization (i.e. desire for self-fulfillment).

The literature search presented the following needs

of foreign students as identified or implied by previous

studies: (1) academic needs, (2) linguistic needs, (3)

cultural related needs, (4) interpersonal needs, (5)

daily-living material needs, (6) post return needs, (7)

and reentry needs. The social system in which the foreign

students were situated was analyzed with the focal point

on the students. Merton's (1957) concepts of "status-set"

and "role-set" were used to identify the components of

the social system of concern to the researcher at the

University of Florida. The "status-set" is the complexity

of status (i.e. positions) a person occupies by virtue of

being a member of a social system, and the "role-set"

is a set of roles a person is to play when occupying a

position (Lee et al., 1981).

Upon this general theoretical perspective the general

needs of the students were set. In this section we will

discuss how we.arrived at the need items used in the ques-

tionnaire. It was felt that it would not have been a

feasible approach to ask open-ended questions to assess

the needs of the student, but to formulate "need items"

to which the respondents could react. The objective in

formulating need items were: (1) to touch on the cogent

needs of the Jamaican students and (2) to include among

others, the area of needs that would be relevant to the

needs of the government of Jamaica and to the University

of Florida.

The items on the questionnaire were developed from

several sources. The study of international students by

(Lee et al., 1981) provided an overview of the various

areas that needed investigating. Other publications

providing information on international education included

the published reports and recommendations of the Wingspread

conferences on foreign students (Diener and Kerr, 1979) and

internationalizing the curriculum (Yarrington, 1978). Two

hundred and sixty items were developed and grouped under

appropriate headings. Through a process of elimination

items that were repetitious, redundant, or obscure in

meaning based on the reseacher's judgment, were excluded.

Through this process, the number of items were re-

duced from 260 to 156. Contact was then made with one

bilingual bicultural expert and two anthropology experts

in their field. Each expert was individually visited

or spoken to over the phone to procure his/her participation

on an evaluation panel. The purpose of this panel was to

provide feedback and to evaluate the items on the research-

er's questionnaire.

An initial list of 156 items were given to each panel

member with instruction for judging each item and item

categorization (see Appendix 1 for questionnaire).

The panel was instructed to consider each item according

to the following criteria: (1) simplicity of language,

(2) clarity, (3) ambiguity and (4) relevancy of items to

the purpose of the study.

After analyzing the experts' reactions, the instru-

ment was further refined as suggestions and recommenda-

tions were accomodated. The decision-rule for retaining

an item required that two of the three members validated

the relevancy of the items. The final questionnaire,

therefore, contained 156 items, each having received 100

percent agreement for relevancy as well as 100 percent

agreement of the categorization of items from the panel

after the minor changes were accomplished.

Responses were recorded through the use of a Likert

type scale with the following ranges: a. (1) very much,

(2) much, (3) very little, (4) not at all; b. (1) not

important to very important (4); c. (1) not at all to

very much (4).

Of the 80 students whose completed questionnaires

were accepted for this study, 70 or 87.5 percent considered

Jamaica their home, and ten had mixed feelings. Those

with mixed feelings clarified their statement by informing

the researcher that "home is where one is living at a

given point in time." Nevertheless, as the interview

progressed they clearly stated that they had intention

of returning "home to Jamaica in the not far distant


The mean age of the students in the study was 21.8;

the mean grade point average of subjects was 2.6; the

mean length of stay in the country was 3.5; the mean

length of stay at the University of Florida was 1.6; and

the mean anticipated reentry problems was 2.6 (see Table 4).


Biographical Data

Variable Mean Deviation

USTAY 3.5 1.8

CSTAY 1.6 .6

GPA 2.6 .6

REENTP 2.6 1.2

AGE 21.8 3.5

Of these 80 students, 38 were male and 42 were female,

79 were single and one was married. The students'

University classification was as follows: 51 or 63.75

percent freshmen, to 22 or 27.8 percent juniors, and

to 7 or 8.25 percent sophomores. No seniors or graduate

students were accepted for the study.

The primary source of funding for these students is

illustrated in the following Figure 7. This figure shows

that 83.75 percent of the students' finance came from

their parents, personal savings or from their home

country's government.

Collection of the Data

The collection of data was conducted in five stages:

(1) a list containing the names and addresses of the 86

Jamaican undergraduate students was obtained from the

International Student Center and from the Caribbean Stu-

dent Association at the University of Florida, (2) a

telephone call was made to each student soliciting their

aid in the study and advising them that a questionnaire

would be sent to them if they consented to participate,

(3) a cover letter and questionnaire was hand delivered

to those students at the University of Florida who agreed

to participate in the study. The cover letter attached

to the questionnaire explained the intent of the study

and requested each participant to complete and return

the questionnaire in 10 days (see Appendix, p. 147),

Percentage Distribution of
Jamaican Students' Primary Source of Funds
1981-1982 at the University of Florida

.. :: Government
.. . ... . : :< :,; :- 25%
Personal and Family D s of J"a ,a n
S 58.75% o u.
.. ... ..... ''. "'l 'iir. ,,,'", "',,. 7 5 %

\ 5 .7 5 % 1 " '' !"...'.: '::",i, :' ." ..-., .

:: ' ".. .:,\ -" : .: i. : :.- i ".. '" '. . .-7 ..

Employment *-
U.S. Private Sponsor *--
U.S. Government

Figure 7. Percentage Distribution of Jamaican
Students' Primary Source of Funds.


(4) at the end of the ten day period a follow-up tele-

phone call was made to those participants who had not

responded. Participants were again informed to return

the questionnaire within ten days. No additional follow-

ups were necessary as there was a 100 percent return. Of

the 86 questionnaires received for a 100 percent response

rate, only 80 were usable for analysis; rendering a usable

response rate of 93 percent. (5) A stratified random

sample of 25 students were then selected from the popu-

lation that met with the criteria set by the researcher.

Each of the selected students were then telephoned to set

an appointment time for the interview.



Presentation and Interpretation of Data

The main purposes of this study were six-fold. The

first was to explore the experiences and impressions of

Jamaicans who are undergraduate students at the University

of Florida in order to evaluate the extent to which their

stay has been educationally rewarding and the degree to

which they perceived the course of studies they were pur-

suing as being relevant to the needs of the developing

nation of Jamaica. The second was to identify problems

confronted by Jamaican students who have matriculated

at the University of Florida. The third was to determine

the extent to which these students' programs of studies

in Jamaica prepared them to pursue their educational goals

at the University of Florida. The fourth was to explore

the ways in which Jamaican students have modified their

culture in order to get along socially in the United States.

The fifth was to identify the problems of adjustment that

students expect to experience when they return to Jamaica.

The final and sixth purpose was to suggest procedures that

might be employed at the University of Florida in order

to assist students in transferring the knowledge gained

in the United States to Jamaica.

In this chapter, the analysis and findings of the

study and the result of the significance testing of the

hypotheses which provided specific direction for the

investigator will be presented.

The two data collection instruments used in the study

were a questionnaire and an interview guide which were de-

veloped by the researcher (see Appendix). A pilot study

was conducted and the data obtained was used to determine

necessary revisions, additions and deletions of the items

developed by the researcher. Reliability was established

for each scale with the aid of the pilot study.

One variable considered was age, which was examined

at two levels younger student represented the age group

17-24 and older students the age group 25-38. Length of

stay in the United States, was another variable under

consideration; and three levels of education obtained in

Jamaica were the other variables being examined. The

levels of education ranged from those students who did

not take the 0 Level examination to those who took the 0

Level examination and to those who went beyond the 0

Levels and took the A Levels. Other variables that were

examined were adaptation, and anticipated reentry problems.

These variables were measured by using a four scale

Likert type measurement which ranged from "did not adapt"

to "greatly adapted", and from "anticipates no problems"

to "anticipates a great deal of problems."

In addition, through the interviews, the researcher

was able to delve deeper into areas that could not be accu-

rately measured on a questionnaire. The areas investigated

were cultural changes, experiences and impressions of the

Jamaican students at the University of Florida. The

interviews, therefore, provided the data that were used

for the qualitative analyses of these questions.

The hypotheses and questions that the study proposed

to test are as follows:

1. There is no statistically significant difference
between the students' level of orientation (orien-
tation or no orientation) and their achievement
as measured by their grade point average.

2. There is no statistically significant difference
between the. students' level of orientation and their
adaptation to the United States.

3. There is no statistically significant difference
between the students' level of education (0 Levels,
A Levels and below 0 Levels) on arriving in the
United States and their academic achievement as
measured by their grade point average after one
year at the University of Florida.

4. There is no statistically significant difference
between the type of visa (J, F, R) held by the
student and their adaptation to the United States.

5. There is no statistically significant difference
between the type of visa held by the student and
their academic achievement.