A case of how adaptation affects the work-life balance of East Asian students in New Zealand
Nguyen, Khoa Truong An
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Despite a large amount of research into work-life balance, there are few studies of non-Western perspectives of work-life balance. Most research in work-life balance is dominated by Western perspectives. Furthermore, there is also little research examining the work-life balance of students, particularly students who are studying and living overseas. This dissertation investigates how adaptation may affect the work-life balance of East Asian students in New Zealand. It uses structured interviews with nine people from China and Korea who are both working and studying. The findings illustrate the adaptation process of the participants and how it interacts with their work-life balance. The study uses the theory of culture shock to analyse the participants’ experience of adaptation. Key issues for the students were the language barrier and homesickness. The results also show that the participants got used to their new environment before starting paid work in New Zealand. This meant that difficulties in adaptation did not affect their work-life balance. The findings indicate that the adaptation process was positively associated with how international students maintain their work-life balance in terms of managing their time, satisfaction balance and involvement.