Problems and Issues for Students living in Hostels


This study aims at exploring the adjustment problems and stages through which a non-local student, from a different cultural background, has to pass in his/her attempt to get well-adjusted at a foreign place. During the process of adjustment in a foreign culture, newcomers may encounter the situations that work as stressors for them. These stressors can be physical, social, cultural, functional and biological. Physical stressors include new settings, changes of weather, safety problems and accommodation. Social stressors refer to difficulty in communicating with new people and making friends, the issue of homesickness and loneliness and difficulty in relating oneself with that of the hosts. Cultural stressors include the differences in norms, beliefs, customs, and ways of dressing, traditions and racial or ethnic discrimination. Functional stressors are work or study conditions, language, transport system and financial problems. Biological stressors include different food or eating traditions, diseases and illness. If a person responds negatively to these stressors, the sensation of being lost in so many unfamiliar people is great. Previous literature indicates that less research has been carried out with respect to our indigenous culture to address the issue of acculturation of non-local students; however in the west this issue has captured the attention of the researchers and the psychologists.

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A study conducted on the adjustment issues of Turkish college students studying in the United States discusses that during the process of cross cultural adjustment, students have to pass through various stages to acquire culturally defined roles. (Poyrazli, Arbone, Bulington and Pisecco, 2001). Trifonovitch (1973) in his book On Cross-Cultural Orientation Technique has discussed four stages through which student have to undergo, in order to adopt and assimilate a new culture. First stage is excitement stage is characterized by fascination, anticipation, exhilaration and extreme joy of experiencing everything new and different. Second stage is hostility stage is characterized by an actual phenomenon of cultural shock.

A student starts rejecting the new environment and its surroundings. An immediate expression of anger, anxiety, depression, rejection and frustration leads an individual to maladjustment. Third is acceptance or integration stage: In this stage, people start becoming familiar with new culture, systems, and values and feel themselves more comfortable and relaxed. They start trusting people, make new friends, understand their perspectives and find connections and similarities between each other’s, learn to ignore the differences and accept others as similar beings. Final stage is home stage a student successfully adjusts to the new environment and feels the place as his/her second home Objectives

• To find out the adjustment problems of non-local students living in university’s hostels. • To explore the qualitative differences in adjustment strategies among students of first year and final year. • To provide some suggestions for the university administration to assist students to enhance the quality of adjustment process.


Research question
• What are the adjustment problems of non-local students from Baluchistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Waziristan and Azad Kashmir? • What is the nature of these adjustment problems?
• What steps do they think university should take to accommodate them and to better cope with situations confronted in an unfamiliar place?
Research plan
Qualitative research design was used to collect data and information about the topic being studied. Research measures
Focus group technique was used to collect data. Focus groups are used to explore people’s beliefs, opinions, perceptions and attitudes about the particular concept or proposal. Six to ten people are interviewed in the same group discussion and talk about their ideas and views about issue to be discussed (Debus, 1998 & Stewart, Shamdasani & Rook 2007). So it was appropriate to use this technique for this kind of study which requires the interactive and rich accounts of non-local students who can freely talk about it while in a group. The moderator in this focus group was female. Sample

Purposive sampling strategy was used to select the students from
University’s hostels. Eight students were selected with the age range of 19 to 23 years. Two students were from Baluchistan and Waziristan; one each from Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Sind, Gilgit and Azad Kashmir were included. They all were students of BSc Hons and five of them belonged to political science department. One student was from English department, one from history, and one from biotechnology. All of them were males except one female from Azad Kashmir. The reason for not selecting the equal ratio is that there is a very less number of non-local female students and she was the only available female to participate in this study. Procedure

Students from university hostels were approached through purposive sampling and were requested to participate in the study. Informed consent was taken from each student. Focus group discussion was held at university’s psychology department’s library. Eight students participated in the discussion proceeded by moderator. The discussion continued for two hours and was videotaped, as it allows the researcher to make sure that not a single piece of information is being missed out and everyone is clearly visible is the video. This video recording was then transcribed for further analysis. Data analysis

Data was analyzed by using grounded theory method. It is a systematic analysis tool, which is frequently used in social sciences. Grounded theory method (GT) works in reverse manner from conventional method. It starts with collection of data with some questions in consideration instead of hypothesis. Codes are assigned to the collected data, categories are formed from these codes to make them more workable, and then hypotheses are formed by these categories that consequently lead to theory development (Smith, 2003).

The present study was conducted to find out adjustment problems of non-local students who came from areas other than Punjab to the local university at Lahore for better educational facilities. Major themes emerged from the grounded theory analysis. Using grounded theory analysis, hypothesis were made as a function of drawing assumptions from the data Following hypothesis
were formulated based on the findings of the data.

•Lack of awareness and acceptability leads to disrespectful attitude towards non local students. •Trivial things seem to be more offensive when students are away from home. •Language based discrimination affects self-esteem and confidence among non-local students. •Consideration at administration level can reduce the intensity of adjustment problems.

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