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Int J Med Educ. 2020 Feb 28;11:62-72. doi: 10.5116/ijme.5e47.d7de.

International medical students' adaptation to university life in Turkey.

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Ege University School of Medicine Department of Medical Education, Izmir, Turkey.
Ege University School of Letters Department of Sociology, Izmir, Turkey.



The aim of this study is to determine the adaptation process of international medical school students to university life in Turkey.


The mixed method design study, including all the international students (n=127) studying at Ege University School of Medicine, is employed. Qualitative data were collected from 23 students selected by purposive sampling technique. Two instruments were utilized for collecting data: Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire (SACQ) and Brief COPE. Focus group interviews were performed for qualitative data collection.


The mean SACQ score of the medical students was found to be 407.44 (SD=68.29). The Academic Adjustment category included the themes of educational goals, different studying habits, accommodation, academic advisor, and scholarship. The Social Adjustment category included the themes of social interaction and support, differences, longing for family, discrimination and its effects on social life. The Personal/Emotional adjustment category included themes of psychological and physiological health problems. The Goal Commitment/Institutional Attachment category included themes of academic and social adaptation as well as the student' communication with education management.


This study identifies to light critical issues in supporting international students with adaptation problems to university life in Turkey. It is clear that revising the content of education programs to enable international exchange is not sufficient enough by itself to meet the needs of international students.


adaptation; coping strategy; international medical student; mixed-method

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