Acculturative Stress and Scholarship Liability: Exploring the Challenges Faced by Turkish Graduate Students at U.S. Universities

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Tutar H.

Hacettepe Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, vol.38, no.2, pp.31-46, 2023 (Scopus) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 38 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.16986/huje.2023.484
  • Journal Name: Hacettepe Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus, EBSCO Education Source, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.31-46
  • Keywords: Turkish international graduate students, scholarship liability, loneliness, academic advisors, loss of self-confidence
  • Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University Affiliated: Yes


This qualitative research aimed to explore the challenges that create acculturative stress on Turkish graduate scholarship students at U.S. universities. This study used the theoretical framework of Berr's (2006) Acculturative Stress Model. As the experience of being a student in the U.S. is socially and contextually constructed through the students' shared experiences, the phenomenological research method is used in this study to obtain in-depth knowledge about the phenomenon. For the data collection, 13 participants were interviewed as a representative sample. The interviews were transcribed, and the common challenges that create acculturative stress for the students were determined. Five salient themes emerged in this study: language incompetency, loss of self-confidence, scholarship liability, loneliness, and academic advisors. Also, time restriction and students' perception of America are determined as essential subthemes. Implications for the scholarship program authorities, students, advisors, and counselors are discussed.