Understanding Intercultural Experiences of Chinese Graduate Students at U.S. Universities: Analysis of Cross-Cultural Dimensions

Elena V. Chudnovskaya (1), Diane M. Millette (2)
(1) Professional Communication Department, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, U.S. , United States,
(2) Department of Communication Studies, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33146, U.S. , United States


The purpose of this study was to analyze the experience of international graduate Chinese students in the U.S. The methodology included a focus group (n=8) and personal interviews (n=8) conducted at a southeastern university. This study revealed how international Chinese students dealt with differences in expectations for the classroom environment, excellence in schoolwork, and nonverbal norms during their time studying in the U.S. Gender theory and cross-cultural dimensions were utilized to explain the study results. The findings were consistent with three cross-cultural dimensions of Hofstede’s theory: Power Distance, Individualism versus Collectivism, and Indulgence versus Restraint. The study revealed that despite some cultural shifts demonstrated by newly introduced dimensions Collectivism-Individualism and Duty-Joy, cultural differences still caused challenges for the study participants. The results of this study provide additional insight into the behavior and acculturation process of international Chinese students and illustrate the benefits for universities to develop positive and productive experiences for these international students.

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Elena V. Chudnovskaya
echudnov@ttu.edu (Primary Contact)
Diane M. Millette
Author Biographies

Elena V. Chudnovskaya, Professional Communication Department, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, U.S.

Elena V. Chudnovskaya, PhD, M.B.A., is a lecturer of Business Communication in the Professional Communication Department at Texas Tech University. Her research has focused on organizational, intercultural, and health communication.   Her work has been published in the   Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, Health Promotion Practice, Communication Research, Humor: International Journal of Humor Research, Public Understanding of Science, and the Journal of Bullying and Social Aggression.

Diane M. Millette, Department of Communication Studies, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33146, U.S.

Diane M. Millette, Ed. D. is an Associate Professor and Department Chair of Communication Studies at, the University of Miami. She conducted research in the areas of instructional, intercultural, organizational, apprehension, and nonverbal communication and published journal articles in Communication Education, Communication Research Reports, Communication Quarterly, Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, International Journal of Technology, Knowledge, & Society, and the Journal of Bullying and Social Aggression.

Chudnovskaya, E. V., & Millette, D. M. (2023). Understanding Intercultural Experiences of Chinese Graduate Students at U.S. Universities: Analysis of Cross-Cultural Dimensions. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 23(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.36923/jicc.v23i1.81

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