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Hierarchical Ordering of Priorities

Respondents in this study tend to minimize their stress resulting from culture shock, homesickness, marriage and relationship, loneliness or anxiety, by shifting their priorities to their academic performance and future career development.

A public administration student said:

First things first. I convince myself that I am here to pursue my doctoral degree, not to enjoy life. Stress, powerlessness, frustration, homesickness, and loneliness are supposed to be part of our lives here, because we chose to live in a foreign country. I can not blame life or others, because no one but myself pushed me to come here. So, I just put my priority things first. I kept telling myself a doctoral degree is a key to a brighter future in the United State. Studying here is the biggest investment I have made in my whole life. I regard other grievances as being a worthy price to pay for the opportunity of pursuing my studies here. (Participant 11)

An accounting student echoed:

For me, nothing matters but my degree and my future employment. With this in mind, I tend to minimize other negative feelings or let them go. Since academic achievement and career development matter more to me, I prioritize them. According to my own experience, this is a very effective strategy, because I do not have time to worry as I am fully focused on study or job searching. (Participant 6)

 
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