A Qualitative Exploration of Acculturation Practices of Pakistani Scholars in Dutch Society

Asma Bashir*, Dine Brinkman, Harm J.A. Biemans, Ruhi Khalid

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The psychosocial adaptation of international scholars is a growing area of inquiry in social sciences. Currently, almost 47,164 Pakistani international scholars are enrolled in various universities worldwide but there is a dearth of literature concerning their psychosocial adjustment. This qualitative inquiry focuses on Pakistani graduate and postgraduate international scholars’ insights concerning their adaptation practices in Dutch culture and society. The study is grounded in a sociocultural adaptation model. The primary data was collected through in-depth interviews with ten Pakistani international students who are currently registered in three Dutch universities. The seven central themes that emerged out of in-depth interviews were the perception of cultural disparity, linguistic challenges, limited interaction with host nationals, discrimination, difficulties practicing religious obligations, acculturation attitudes, and participants’ coping strategies applied during the adjustment process. The findings of the current study highlight both barriers and protective factors within the scope of theoretical assumptions and literature. The current study contributes to the gap in the available literature concerning Pakistani international scholars’ experiences. A limited number of studies have discussed acculturation practices of Muslim students and from a specific region. The present findings would be useful for Pakistani international scholars who intend to study abroad and the administration of the host universities receiving Pakistani international scholars to facilitate their adjustment to the new context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalSAGE Open
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021


  • acculturation attitudes
  • discrimination
  • Pakistani international scholars
  • religious obligations
  • sociocultural adjustment


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