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Sample Research Paper on Cultural Conflict in International Education in USA

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Sample Research Paper on Cultural Conflict in International Education in USA

Cultural Conflict in International Education in USA

Culture refers to the certain practices that are valued and carried out in the lives of a given group of people. These practices are viewed to be the major instructions for most of the operations within various societies. Cultural practices differ from one community to the other due to the uniqueness of most of the cultures. Among the practices that form the culture of various groups include, tradition, education programs, entertainment, and clothing among other practices that are distinct with various sects of people. In most cases, these practices are always in conflict among individuals of different backgrounds. This variety at certain stages has compromised certain main operations in the society. Due  to the diversity, institutions have developed common practices in order to achieve uniformity in the procedures of these organizations.

Cultural diversity has been a major challenge in the pursuit for education by most students in the USA. Owing to the progression that the country has made in most of its sectors, individuals from various parts of the world prefer the country for search of education ambitions (Rothstein, 1995, p. 112). Due to a number of cultural conflicts in these institutions, students from various parts of the world have found it challenging to deal with the various practices that are pronounced in the American culture. This therefore calls for a number of measures to be initiated that will ensure that students from various parts of the world studying in USA feel incorporated in the many practices of the institutions. This paper will therefore mainly attempt to explain the various cultural challenges experienced by foreign students pursuing their education in the United States. The possible measures that have been put in place in order to control these existing conflicts will also form a central part of the discussion.

The cultural backgrounds of various persons define the clothing style to be adopted by individuals who own that specific culture. Clothing is a key aspect of culture that is used for different purposes depending on the culture. Specific attires will be preferred for divine purposes during worship while some will also be desired during other social events like weddings. Clothing therefore defined a number of occasions. The Muslim religion is famously known for their unique attires that play a religious role besides defining the roles of individuals in the society. The Nigerian attires have also been appreciated in most parts of the world for their uniqueness (Dagbovie, 2010, p. 440). These clothing practices have greatly faced a number of challenges due to a number of aspects within the learning environments in the US. Certain institution rules define the type of clothing to be assumed by learners within the course of the education programs.

This has greatly affected the cultural value of different foreign students. Secondly, certain programs within the institutions also require the students to dress in certain styles. This is due to the nature of the activities that can only efficiently be undertaken in particular dressing styles. Consequently, the weather conditions in America to some extent have contributed to some clothing styles by the learners. America is rated as one of the most civilized nations globally. The aspect of civilization contributes largely the clothing styles adopted by individuals within the country. There are certain clothing styles that are viewed to be outdated by the citizens of the country. This has greatly affected the clothing styles adopted by learners in various learning institutions in the country. Due to the need to conform to the heights of civilization in the country, foreign students have indulged in these clothing styles of the locals there by causing cultural conflict.

Language is a very important tool in the communication process and in the carrying out of various roles within institutions. For effectiveness to be achieved in most of the procedures of organizations there is need to assume a common language that is comfortably used by the members of the institute. There has been a major conflict in language between the native citizens of America and foregin students in the country. This has resulted into a number of inefficiencies in most of the learning procedures, as spreading of information is not achieved. The US English has been viewed to entail certain difficulties in aspects such as spelling and pronunciation. This at certain events caused conflicts between the British English and the American English. The conflict resulting language is even clearer in situations where the foreign students are from non- English speaking nations. This aspect of language conflict has seen most foreign be taken through elementary studies on American English to have the basic knowledge necessary. Lack of past knowledge in American English has greatly compromised the performance of foreign students in the United States with low performance constantly being manifested. In education programs that are long term, abandonment of the native languages has become pronounced there by resulting into erosion of certain essential aspects of the native cultures (Park, 2007, p. 352). Language constraints have seen some institutions of higher learning adopt the use of a number of foreign languages in the education procedures to ensure inclusion of persons from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Religious beliefs of individuals are central in influencing to some extent the practices of a group of people. The food items adopted is greatly affected by the religious beliefs practiced in a variety of cultures. Conflict resulting from diverse religious beliefs has become illustrated in the practices involving the American native students and the foreign students. One of the major aspects of religion that has contradicted among various cultures is food. Due to a number of factors, some food items cannot be made available in the USA. Some of these reasons are environmental factors that prevent the growth of specific food items that are highly valued by particular cultural groups. The shortage in provision of the desired food items has resulted into the consumption of items that are considered culturally unexpected in some cultures. In several learning institutions sponsored by religious groups, specific food items have been constantly provided for consumption due to their availability and relatively low costs of purchase. This has often forced persons from the diverse cultural settings to put up with the food items despite the conflict in cultures.

On the other hand, at times the institutions require individuals to desist from the consumption of specific items that may be of high value to particular cultures. This in most cases result into conflict in opinion that in the end may be devastating in terms of erosion of certain cultural practices. Most Christian doctrines block the consumption of items such as alcoholic drinks and food items with composition of nicotine. However, these doctrines may be greatly may be dishonored due to certain conditions in the USA. A larger percentage of the youth in most learning institutions is reportedly to be struggling with tobacco addiction that has some percentages of nicotine (Museus, Palmer, Davis, Maramba, In Ward, & In Wolf, 2011, p. 456). Owing to peer influence, persons from strong Christian backgrounds can indulge in this consumption those conflicts with the Christian doctrines.

Traditions are necessary components in the cultural practices of a group of people. This primarily refers to undertakings that are of value to the community and are continuously carried out in the procedures of the society. For example, the Muslim and the Christian religions have celebrations that are undertaken on a continuous basis and have formed major traditions in the religions. Foreign students in America institutions have constantly faced conflicts in traditions and in some cases in ability to perform traditions that are highly valued in their cultures. Some procedures in the program of the learning institutions are in great contradiction of the native traditions of the students (Dagbovie, 2010, p. 456). This even becomes more pronounced in the event that the institutions are under the sponsorship of a religious body. This will demand that the students to stick to every tradition of the institution. Institutions will also bar students from practicing traditions that are in conflict with those of the institution. Difficulties will also be experienced by the students in practicing their cultural traditions due to some factors that may be unavoidable due to the environment. In most cases, adherence to these traditions demands collective responsibility from various individuals from the same culture. In the event of a single individual, numerous challenges will be faced leading to omissions. Secondly, the institutions set up may not provide a favorable environment for the performance of these traditions. Conflicts in traditions in the learning institutions in the US has resulted into many cases of students considering change of learning environment s in order to achieve free environment for tradition adherence.

America as a country has made a number of steps in terms of development of most of the sectors. This has seen the living standards of most of its citizens improve steadily over the years. This is in relation to the conditions experienced in other developed and developing countries. The improved living standards of the country have contributed to a conflict in the living standards of foreign students seeking placement in the learning institutions in the country. The difference in the living standards has ranged from technological usage to the social belonging of the students. Due to the low living standards, individuals from the third world countries have not been at a position to acquire the various technologically advanced gadgets used in the learning procedures. This has resulted into sense of inferiority complex among the foreign students (Park, 2007, p. 123). Besides, it has resulted into involvement of the foreign students in certain activities so as to feet in the existing living standards. Disparity in the living standards of students in these learning institutions has resulted into various negative results among them cases of racism. In more adverse situations, this has been extended in the social groupings within the institution. The social groupings are mainly composed of students that are of the same social class. Indulgence of the foreign students into employment activities during their learning programs is closely contributed to the need to fit in the existing social groupings. In order to curb the existing conflict in living standards, provisions of the basic facilities in the learning institutions have been provided to limit the insufficiency among the foreign students.

The type of education adopted by communities in various systems differs and is another aspect of culture that has resulted into several challenges to foreign students in America. In most of the developing countries, the education programs offered are theoretical due to the lack of the necessary facilities for practical learning activities. These education programs in most cases are not learner based and does not result into effective adoption of skills. This is in contradiction with the education systems in America that are skill based and includes the use of current advanced technologies (Park, 2007, p. 564). This disparity in the learning systems has posed a serious challenge to the foreign students due to a number of concerns. Initially, owing to the elementary theoretical studies in the native countries, foreign students often lack the necessary skills to meet the demands of the learning programs. This has created constraints on the part of the learners, as they are disadvantaged in relation to their native counterparts. Consequently, most of the education offered in most countries does not entails independent decision making skills as that of the US that demands for individuals to objectively make decisions on a number of research activities carried out in the course of the learning programs. The inequality in various cultures has therefore greatly posed a challenge to the foreign students as they strive to meet the existing levels (Chen & Yoo, 2010, p. 413).

Finally, the foreign students have also faced a number of challenges in the social activities carried out within the learning institutions. Entertainment forms a central part in these social activities carried out. Due to different cultures some aspects of entertainment undertaken within these institutions contradicts with the cultural beliefs of the students. Dances are highly valued in the USA as a very important tool for entertainment. However, certain beliefs, more so certain Christian values regard dance as evil and should not be practiced. This contradiction has also been manifested in various songs performed during these activities. The outfits used during these events have also been a basis of conflicting practices (Arabski & Wojtaszek, 2011, p. 324). Certain religious beliefs like the Muslim bars the faithful from adorning in some specific clothing. However, these practices in some situations will demand particular dressing code from the participants. This therefore results indulgence into social practices that are in contradiction of the native cultures of the foreign students.

In conclusion, it becomes distinct that cultural conflicts are a common aspect in most of the international institutions. This therefore demands certain measures to be initiated to ensure effective addition of individuals in the operations of the institutions with an aim of ensuring that there is cultural inclusion in the procedures of the institution. This calls for the foreign students to be integrated in the procedures of adopting the plans for the institution. This would help in achieving efficiency and effectiveness in the learning programs. In addition, cultural considerations will also be a motivating factor to the foreign students in the learning institutions, as their cultural practices will be safeguarded.


Arabski, J., & Wojtaszek, A. (2011). Aspects of culture in second language acquisition and foreign language learning. Berlin: Springer.

Chen, E. W.-C., & Yoo, G. J. (2010). Encyclopedia of Asian American issues today. Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood Press.

Dagbovie, P. G. (2010). African American history reconsidered. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

Museus, S. D., Palmer, R. T., Davis, R. J., Maramba, D. C., In Ward, K., & In Wolf-Wendel, L. (2011). Racial and ethnic minority students’ success in STEM education. San Francisco, Calif: Jossey-Bass Inc.

Park, C. C. (2007). Asian American education: Acculturation, literacy development, and learning. Charlotte, N.C: IAP.

Rothstein, S. W. (1995). Class, culture, and race in American schools: A handbook. Westport, Conn. [u.a.: Greenwood Press.




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