Alien at home: Adjustment strategies of students returning from a six-months over-sea's educational programme

Ulrich Dettweiler, Ali Ünlü, Gabriele Lauterbach, Andrea Legl, Perikles Simon, Claudia Kugelmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This paper assesses German students' adjustment strategies after a six months expeditionary learning programme on high seas with intercultural encounters in Cuba and Costa Rica. A postal survey (N=128, global response quote rg=.44) has been conducted with students having returned from four separate learning expeditions from 2008 to 2012. The students reports were coded in five categories, i.e. (1) reintegration narratives (RN), (2) perception of schooling (PoS), (3) self-perception (SP), (4) perceived programme effects (PPE), and (5) social context (SC), which were also quantified on a 5-point Likert-scale. By means of principal components analyses (PCA) and polynominal interpolation (PI), we searched into underlying distribution patterns in the categories. No significant differences were found with respect to gender in the four groups in a one-way ANOVA. However, significant differences with respect to (4) self-perception (SP) and perceived programme effects (PPE) can be referred to group 3. This accords well with the findings of the PCA and PI, which corroborate a U-curve with its apex after eight months at home. It can be shown that all four cohorts show symptoms of expedition reverse culture shock, which indicates that pedagogical intervention also after the cruise may be undertaken.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-87
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Adjustment strategies
  • Expedition
  • Expeditionary learning
  • Outdoor education
  • Reverse culture shock


Dive into the research topics of 'Alien at home: Adjustment strategies of students returning from a six-months over-sea's educational programme'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this