The Academic and Socio-cultural Adaptation of Chinese International Students Studying in the Netherlands during COVID-19 Pandemic
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This thesis aims to investigate the academic and socio-cultural adaptation of Chinese international students studying in Dutch universities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the significant number of Chinese students that attend Dutch universities during COVID-19, it is important to see how they adapt to life in the Netherlands. This paper employs a mixed-method to examine difficulties Chinese students have encountered and factors that affect their cultural transition. Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with Chinese students studying at Utrecht University and a survey was also released to Chinese students in other Dutch universities to provide a general picture of how different findings complement each other. The findings show that the difficulties in academic and socio-cultural adaptation are influenced by five factors which are language barriers, pedagogical difference, personality, prior overseas experience and COVID-19. The qualitative and quantitative analysis also reveals that the primary difficulty resulting from COVID-19 is closely related to communication and social interaction. Generally, Chinese international students can adapt to Dutch universities and society during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although Chinese students have encountered difficulties in adaptation to academic learning and social life in the Netherlands, those issues cannot be generally blamed for the impact of COVID-19.