Keep on Going: Taiwanese Students First Year in a Foreign Country

Monday, 7 July 2008
Lee-Ing Tsao, DNSc , Nursing, National Taipei College of Nursing, Taipei, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: To understand what the life process of the first year of Taiwanese students’ going abroad to study in a foreign country.

Learning Objective 2: To understand the acculturation process of newcomers in foreign countries.

New immigrant may encounter stressful experiences due to culture change and conflict; isolation from familiar social network; economic and social change; possible problems with language, employment, and discrimination; and a consequent change in self-concept. Furthermore, the acculturation process will result in some mental health problems. The purpose of current study was to explore the life process of the first year of Taiwanese students going abroad to study in a foreign country. The study was conducted by qualitative study using snow ball sampling. Informants were selected according to criteria that they: a) were studying in an American university or graduate school; b) came from Taiwan; c) had been in America at least one year; d) were glad to speak about their first year of going abroad. There were five students aged 20 to 25 were recruited. The participants were all formally interviewed and shared their stories of first year studying in foreign countries. Some data was collected from the weekly get-together dinner party and their diary. Content analysis was used by constant comparative method. There were seven themes in the first years of life experiences in studying foreign countries: “loneliness”, “language barrier”, “frustration”, “want to learn”, and “connecting” with the native country as well as with the new environment. “Struggle to be independent in America or dependent on their parents in Taiwan”. “Keep on going”. Hopefully, these results would provide references for trancultural nursing as well as help foreign students in campus.