The role of personality and destination in the optimal adaptation of international students to host universities
Recent studies suggest that the optimal adaptation of exchange students to the host-university is associatedto students’ personality, and suggest that lowering anxiety, higher sociability and higher sensation seeking isobserved in students with successful adaptations. However, this pattern has only been studied in Americanor German universities. Accordingly, this study aimed to replicate previous results using a sample of European-international undergraduates of the Erasmus Exchange Programme studying in Barcelona. Analyses ofvariance showed that exchange-students scored higher than locals in Sociability, Activity and in BoredomSusceptibility, but no differences were seen in Anxiety levels. Regression analyses reported that the personalityvariable that best predicted studying abroad in Barcelona was, on a broad level, Sociability; on a narrowerlevel, Parties and Friends and Boredom Susceptibility accounted for 38% of the study abroad variance. Resultsconfirm that exchange students show a differential personality profile, but it differs in some traits when comparedto American samples. It is discussed how the destination or university allocation and cultural characteristicsmight mediate the observed differences among samples. It is also discussed the relevance of includingboth student’s personality and destination characteristics in the study-abroad assessment programmes tofacilitate students’ adaptation and avoid stress-related or adaptation problems.
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Ansiedad y Estrés
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