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Christiaan Huygensstraat 44, Zipcode:7533XB, Enschede, THE NETHERLANDS
academic adaptation higher education international students motivations

Understanding International Students’ Academic Adaptation and Motivation to Pursue Higher Education in Turkey

Abdallah A. Alnajjar , Füsun Gülderen Alacapınar

The current study investigates the academic adaptation levels of international students and their motivations for pursuing higher education in Turkey..

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The current study investigates the academic adaptation levels of international students and their motivations for pursuing higher education in Turkey. The study also aimed to compare the adaptation of international students in higher education in terms of various variables such as gender, age, duration in Turkey, education level, and university. A mixed-methods design was employed, incorporating both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The study involved 222 international students from four universities in Konya who completed an online questionnaire. Data collection used the "international students’ adaptation to higher education" scale. The quantitative data in this study were subjected to statistical analyses, using non-parametric tests such as the Mann– Whitney U test and the Kruskal– Wallis H test, while the qualitative data were analyzed using the content analysis technique. Because of the analysis, it was noted that international students demonstrated heightened levels of adaptation in the realms of academic processes, academic principles, and socio-cultural dimensions of university life. However, a moderate level of adaptation was identified in the domain of academic experiences, shedding light on some challenges encountered by students in this aspect. Additionally, the results showed no significant differences in academic adaptation levels among international students based on study variables. Concerning the motivations of international students to pursue higher education in Turkey, prominent factors encompass the quality and diversity of higher education opportunities, historical and cultural heritage, ease of living, affordability, and religious and ethnic ties. This underscores the importance of universities and policymakers in Turkey to recognize challenges and promote the strengths of the country as an international study destination.

Keywords: Academic adaptation, higher education, international students, motivations.

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