Understanding Chinese international graduate students adaptation to learning in North America: A cultural perspective

Zhongheng Zhang, Juan Xu


Chinese graduate students studying on American campuses as international or foreign students have very different experiences than other students. These differences relate to the fact that they are interfacing between two very different systems of higher education. It is important then, to find out more about their experiences, and how these differences might be connected to discourses and discussions that take place in the field of higher education. This is based on primary research drawn from the learning experiences of eleven newly-arrived Chinese international graduate students at one North American university. The major comparisons drawn include: a) learner responsibilities, b) learner engagement during and after class, and c) learner assessment. Chinese international students learned many hard lessons at this North American university. This paper discusses these experiences in the context of the literature of comparative higher education.


Adaptation, Teaching and Learning, International Students

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Higher Education Perspectives. ISSN: 1710-1530