Interculturalism in Practice 4. Internationalization in Higher Education



Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 3

Typically offered in

Autumn semester

Course description

Aim of the course

The course focuses on the psychological and educational aspects of the internalization of higher education and places the international mobility of students within the trends of higher education and migration. It deals with the acculturation processes and experiences of international students as sojourners, both during their studies abroad and upon returning to their home country. The main focus is placed on acculturation orientations (toward culture of origine, culture of host society and that of international community) as well as on the psychological (how they feel) and on the sociocultural (how they manage in everyday life and in school) adaptation as well as on the influencing, promoting and hindering factors. Further more, the course discusses the pedagogical challenges and assets, the cultural aspects of knowledge constructions and knowledge types as well as the role of cultural and social capital (Bourdieu) in international mobility. The organizational, acculturation attitudes as well as the readiness of higher educational institutions to host international students and their multicultural counseling services are also topics of the course.

Learning outcome, competences

  • Knowledge of multicultural theories of sociocultural contacts as well as their criticisms and practices in which these theories are successfully applied.
  • Knowledge and understanding of theoretical and applicational aspects of social integration and acculturation.
  • Knowledge of the relationships between sociocultural-economic background and education.


  • Openness to accepting the values of others and other cultures.
  • Acceptance of the fact that the co-existence of cultures may lead to conflicts in every field of social life, which can be peacefully solved by mutually constructive process of pluralistic societies.
  • Seeing cultural diversity an opportunity with valuable assets that can be used for te purpose of social integration and development.


  • Ability to perceive and treat the interrelations between social-cultural-economic background and social integration in a complex way.
  • Ability to put multicultural knowledge into practice, to initiate and to help realize activities and programmes promoting social integration.
  • Seeing cultural diversity an opportunity with valuable assets that can be used for te purpose of social integration and development.
  • Ability to help create an enviroment that promote the successful psychological and sociocultural adaptation of international students.

Content of the course
Topics of the course

  • Trends of higher education’s internationalization- socioeconomic, political, demographical aspect
  • Host attitudes, discrimination
  • Goals, motives, expectations, preparations for studies abroad
  • Social networks, social support, friends and family
  • Perceived cultural distance and differences between the cultures of higher education systems
  • Pedagogical challenges and opportunities
  • Cultural aspects of knowledge constructions and knowledge types
  • Cultural and social capital Previous intercultural experieces, coping
  • Language (use, competence, preference)
  • Differences in gender role-related experiences Identity and its aspects
  • Psychological and sociocultural adaptation
  • Acculturational stressor, daily hassles, coping especially at school
  • Acculturation orientations and behavior
  • Cognitive appraisal of the time period spent with studies abroad
  • Retry shock and acculturative stress Host institutions: acculturation attitudes, orgnizational cultures
  • Counseling for international students
  • Evaluation of outcomes
  • Learning activities, learning methods
  • Interactive lectures, working in group, working with film and media, field visit, individual preparation, reading

Learning requirements, mode of evaluation, criteria of evaluation:

  • written reflections on readings, films
  • written test
  • presentation of project plan on higher education’s internalization, adaptation of international students

mode of evaluation: written and oral

criteria of evaluation:

  • Understanding the course materials and the connection between diffent concepts
  • Ability to apply knowledge in practice

Compulsory reading list

  • Banks, A. J. (2009): Knowledge construction and the education of citizens in diverse societies. Keynote paper at the the conference Interkulturell Pedagogik, 23.09.2009, Göteborg, Sweden. %20och%20kulturutveckling/mangkultur/ikp/090923_banks_paper.pdf
  • Bochner, S. (2006): Sojourners. In Sam, D. L.– Berry, J. W. (Eds.) (2006): The Cambridge handbook of acculturation psychology. Cambridge University Press. 181-198. Bourdieu, P. (1986): The forms of capital. In J. Richardson (Ed.): Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education. Greenwood, New York. 241-258.
  • Chirkov, V. I.– Vansteenkiste, M.– Tao, R. – Lynch, M. (2007): The role of motivation to study abroad in the adaptation of international students: A self-determination theory approach. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 31(2), 199–222.
  • Fülöp M. – Sebestyén N. (2012): Being a student abroad: The sojourner experience: USA meets Hungary.In: Goncalves, S. – Carpenter, M. (eds.) Intercultural Policies and Education. Peter Lang AG - European Academic Publisher, Oxford. 141-170.
  • Johnson, E. M. (2008): An investigation into pedagogical challenges facing international tertiary-level students in New Zealand. Higher Education Research& Development, 27(3), 231–243.
  • Kartoshkina, Y. (2015): Bitter-sweet reentry after studying abroad. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 44, 35-45.
  • Lee. D.H. (2009): A study of the life and culture of young Korean students studying in the United States. Educational Research and Reviews, 5(2), 78-85.
  • Lefdahl-Davis, E. M. – Perrone-McGovern, K. M. (2015): The Cultural Adjustment of Saudi Women International Students: A Qualitative Examination. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 46(3), 1-29. OECD (2015). Education at a Glance 2015: OECD Indicators,
  • OECD Publishing, Paris. Ramos, M. R. – Cassidy, C. – Reicher, S. – Haslam, S. A. (2016): A Longitudinal study of the effects of discrimination on the acculturation strategies of international students. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 47(3), 401–420.
  • Resnick, J. L. (2006): Strategies for implementation of the multicultural guidelines in university and college counseling centers. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 37(1), 14.
  • Schields, R. (2013): Globalization and international student mobility: a network analysis. Comparative Education Review, 57 (4), 609-636.
  • Ward, C.– Bochner, S.– Furnham, A. (2001): The psychology of culture shock. Routledge, East Sussex, UK.