Papers from the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology Conferences

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Students increasingly cross borders to study in a foreign country and live a full experience abroad. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship among intercultural personality, self-identity orientation, and outcomes of cultural adaptation among international students. According to the multicultural personality questionnaire, five key dimensions lead to intercultural adaptation success: cultural empathy, open-mindedness, emotional stability, social initiative, and flexibility. In addition, another relevant factor is that individuals frame situations differently depending on how they construe or represent themselves in a specific context. Thus, we consider three related identity orientations (i.e., personal, relational, and collective identity) to understand how international students feel toward and interact with others in the host culture. The results show that for international students to successfully adapt to a “host” culture, open-mindedness, social initiative, and relational identity are key factors in life satisfaction and in having more contact with the host (i.e., Dutch) and international students. However, international students with a more personal identity orientation have more contact with Dutch students, and those with a more collective identity orientation with co-nationals. In conclusion, specific intercultural competences and identity orientations may help students feel more satisfied and interact with different groups as ways to achieve international cultural adaptation.

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