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Social Identity Exploration: International Students from Mainland China Open Access

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Drawing upon current literature of Chinese international students as well as existing knowledge of social identity theory, this qualitative research explores the impact of ethnic identity on Chinese international students' identity development in the United States. Based on the data from the interviews with participants self-identified as Chinese international undergraduate students from a large private not-for-profit research university, findings support Phinney's (1995) model of ethnic identity development and has confirmed that the acculturation process for Chinese international students is two-dimensional rather than linear. Taken together, results of the current study add strength to current literature and will inform research on identity development for international students in the United States. Furthermore, policy implications derived from this study will benefit higher education practitioners and increase Chinese international students' overall international exchange experience on campus.

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