The Role of Host-Universities in the Process of Erasmus Students’ Intercultural Adaptation
Within the general framework of the internationalization of higher education, this paper brings forward the role of host-universities in facilitating the intercultural adaptation of Erasmus students. In line with Kim’s (2001, 2005) theoretical approach, the general premise that we build our research on is that the more universities involve in organizing activities which encourage communication and social relationships for the visiting students, the easier the adaptive process to the new socio-cultural medium would be for them. Based on 20 in-depth interviews with Romanian students aged between 19 and 23, who went on an Erasmus programme of 4 to 8 months in different European countries, we discuss which were the main facilitators and barriers that they had to cope with during their mobility sojourn. Although the results show a low level of host-universities engagement in facilitating the adaptive process of visiting students, we lay stress on how universities can approach this process as a win-win relation and which are the short-term and long-term implications on both individual and organizational level.
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