International adjustment and networking across cultures : a study of cultural distance among international students at NHH
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- Master Thesis 
This thesis explores the international adjustment and networking of international students at NHH in light of cultural distance. According to the available literature it is easier to adjust to a country where the cultural distance to the home country is small, compared to when the cultural distance towards the home country is larger. The process of international adjustment is often explained by the culture shock cycle where greater cultural distance is expected to result in a deeper culture shock and a longer adjustment period. The international adjustment is seen in the aspect of adjustment to the general environment, adjustment to interacting with host nationals, and adjustment to work. The second aspect of this thesis is to explore the networking patterns of international students and the possible effects it poses on international adjustment. Theory predicts a positive relationship between adjustment and interaction with host nationals. However, it is also predicted that networks tend to be formed with a preference towards likeminded co-nationals. The respondents selected to explore the subject were eight international students at NHH divided into two equal groups based on expected cultural distance; one group of Western Europeans and one group of Asians. The adjustment process fit the culture shock cycle for some of the respondents and for some not. Cultural distance could not explain whether the culture shock cycle was accurate for the adjustment or not as there was an equal spread between the eastern and western group. However, culture shock was more frequently experienced within the eastern group. Anticipatory adjustment and language skills were found to play an important role in explaining the adjustment of the international students. Moreover the networking pattern of the respondents proved to coincide quite well with the presented literature.