Factors hindering socio-cultural integration of international students: a case of University of Zululand and University of Venda
This paper explored factors that deter socio-cultural integration of international students in South African higher learning institution. The study was carried out in two rural-based higher learning institutions in South Africa with the international students at the University of Zululand and University of Venda participating respondents. This was guided by a survey design using 172 and 192 participants from each universities, respectively. Data was collected using questionnaires and semi-structured interview tools, guided by a simple random sampling technique. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics and thematically approach through SPSS version 24 and Atlas.ti version 9. The results indicate that many international students suffer psychological feelings and struggling with cross-cultural adjustment. Language barrier, life style and xenophobia were trendy among a myriad of other factors. While some seems very reserved to avoid conflicts, many have high self-efficacy to set goals which are lacking among local students. Thus, the study suggest a model that will serve as a framework for the homestay for international students.
Keywords: International students, integration, socio-cultural, intercultural competences, xenophobia