Academic Adaptation: The Experience of Malay Muslim Postgraduate Students (Adaptasi Akademik: Pengalaman Pelajar Pascasiswazah Melayu Muslim)



This qualitative study aimed to explore the academic experiences and coping strategies among Malay Muslim postgraduate
students in Australia. The research participants were thirteen Malaysian Malay Muslim postgraduate students (9 females,
4 males) studying in a university in South Australia. They were either undergoing their Master or PhD degrees. The
findings show that as international students, the Malaysian Malay Muslim postgraduate students had difficulties adjusting
themselves to their new learning culture. In order to cope with the situation, they became active learners in academic
areas, made changes and sought assistance in their daily lives through their spouse, other Malaysian friends or university
colleagues. Maintaining faith was also frequently mentioned as one of their coping strategies.


Malaysian Malay Muslims, Postgraduate students, International students, Academic experiences

Full Text:



Abdullah, A. 1996. Going Glocal: Cultural Dimensions in

Malaysian Management: PlACE??: Malaysian institute

of Management.

AbS, A.b.o.S. 2007. International Students in Australia.



Retrieved 31 March 2007.

AEi, A.E.i. 2014. International Student Data for 2009. https:// data/documents/



MonthlySummary.pdf. Retrieved 18 March, 2014

Atlas of Student Mobility: united Kingdom. 2009. http://www. Retrieved 4 december

barker, M., Child, C., Gallois, C., Jones, E. & Callan, V.J. 1991.

Difficulties of overseas students in social and academic

situations. Australian Journal of Psychology 43(2): 79-84.

beach, S.R.h., Martin, J., blum, T. & Roman, P. 1993. Effects

of marital and co-worker relationship on negative affect:

Testing the central role of marriage. American Journal of

Family Therapy 21: 213-322.

bostik, K. & Everall, R. 2007. healing from suicide: adolescent

perceptions of attachment relationships. British Journal of

Guidance and Counselling 35(1): 79-96.

braun, V. & Clarke, V. 2006. using thematic analysis in

psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology 3(2):


Charles, h. & Stewart, M.A. 1991. Academic Advising of

international Students. Journal of Multicultural Counseling

and Development 19(4): 173-181.

Cigularova, d.K. 2005. Psychosocial Adjustment of international

Students. Colorado State University Journal of Student

Affairs: 14.

Granqvist, P. & Kirkpatrick, l.A. 2008. Attachment and religious

representations and behavior. Handbook of Attachment

Theory and Research: 906-933.

harman, G. 2003. international Phd students in Australian

universities: financial support, course experience and career

plans. International Journal of Educational Development

(3): 339-351.

haydon, l. 2003. Meeting the Needs of International Students

at Dominican University of California. PlACE??


hayes, R.l. & lin, h.R. 1994. Coming to America: developing

social support systems for international students. Journal of

Multicultural Counseling and Development 22: 7-7.

Katz, J., Monnier, J., beach, S.R.h., libet, J. & Shaw, d. 2000.

individual and crossover effects of stress on adjustment in

medical student marriages. Journal of Marital and Family

Therapy 26(3): 341-352.

Khawaja, n.G. & dempsey, J. 2007. Psychological distress

in international university students: An Australian study.

Australian Journal of Guidance and Counseling 17(1):


lin, J.C.G. & Yi, J.K. 1997. Asian international students’

adjustment: issues and program suggestions. Journal of

Multicultural Counseling and Development 19: 173-181.

novera, i.A. 2004. indonesian postgraduate student studying

in Australia: An examination of their academic, social and

cultural differences. International Education Journal 5(4):


oropeza, b.A.C., fitzgibbon, M. & Augustine baron, J.

Managing mental health crises of foreign college

students. Journal of Counselling Development 69: PAGE


Pedersen, P.b. 1991. Counseling international students. The

Counselling Psychologist 19: 10-58.

Poyrazli, S., Arbona, C., bullington, R. & Pisecco, S. 2001.

Adjustment issues of Turkish college students studying in

the united States. College Student Journal 35(1): 52-62.

Poyrazli, S. & Kavanaugh, P.R. 2006. Marital status, ethnicity,

academic achievement, and adjustment strains: the case of

graduate international students. College Student Journal

(4): 767-780.

Ramburuth, P. 2001. Language diversity and the first-year

experience: implications for academic achievement and

language skills acquisition. Journal of the First-Year

Experience & Students in Transition 13(2): 75-93.

Rowatt, W.C. & Kirkpatrick, l.A. 2002. Two dimensions of

attachment to God and their relation to affect, religiosity,

and personality constructs. Journal for the Scientific Study

of Religion 41(4): 637-651.

Ryan, M.E. & Twibell, R.S. 2000. Concerns, values, stress,

coping, health and educational outcomes of college students

who studied abroad. International Journal of Intercultural

Relations 24(4): 409-435.

Selvadurai, R. 1992. problems faced by international students

in american colleges and universities. Community Review

VoluME? PAGE nuMbER?

Sim, T.n. & loh, b.S.M. 2003. Attachment to God: Measurement

and dynamics. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships

(3): 373.

Academic Adaptation: The Experience of Malay Muslim Postgraduate Students

uS, i.S.i.t. 2009. International Students on US Campuses at

All-time High.

Retrieved 29 december, 2009.

Wang, J. 2003. A Study of the Adjustment of International

Graduate Students At American Universities, Including Both

Resilience Characteristics and Traditional Backgrounds

Factors.The florida State u., US.


  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

© Malaysian Journal of Education | Jurnal Pendidikan Malaysia
ISSN 2180-0782 | eISSN: 2600-8823