The adaptation of Afrikan students to Iowa State University

Marshall-Bradley, Tina
Major Professor
William Wolansky
Committee Member
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Curriculum and Instruction

Within the past two decades there has been a tremendous increase of Afrikan students in the United States (Arubayi, 1981). Afrikan students at Iowa State University are experiencing difficulty in a variety of areas. Economic problems have always been the most severe difficulty experienced by Afrikan students in the United States (Arubayi, 1981). They also experience difficulty in communicating with Americans, (Pruitt, 1978); feelings of homesickness that can often lead to alcohol abuse (Oshodin, 1982); social problems, (Arubayi, 1981; Teferra, 1978; Adelegan & Parks, 1985; Ekaiko, 1981); and food problems (Hossain, 1982), including preparation and consumption of American foods and the procurement of familiar foods and ingredients for preparation of traditional meals of their home country. Their acculturation to this country is often based on negative experiences within the university;Although the problems experienced by Afrikan students are well documented,there is less information available on personal attributes and environmental conditions that may account for the extent to which the problems are experienced. This study supports the literature that older students do not adjust as easy as younger students. Many of the students surveyed in this study were married, but separated from their families, which could contribute to their feelings of loneliness. This study also supported that portion of the literature that indicates that locating appropriate food is a problem for many Afrikan students;This study sought to compare the adaptation of students from different countries on the continent of Afrika, to Iowa State University, regarding housing, communication with Americans, discrimination, financial matters, food, immigration, loneliness, academic progress and feelings of homesickness;The findings indicated that Afrikan students' educational experiences in America did not promote rapport and involvement with Americans. The Americanization of Afrikan students' tastes and lifestyles was found to facilitate the adjustment process to American social relations and economy. Afrikan students tend to watch a great deal of television and a variety of programs. Most of the students included in this survey listed their first language as a traditional Afrikan language, but because so few other students speak their language, they do not get the chance to use their first language. The adaptation of Afrikan students is based, to a great extent, on the background, age, and personality of the individual student.