International journal of intercultural relations vol:31 issue:2 pages:199-222
Two studies with Chinese international students in Belgium and Canada investigated the role of two motivational factors in students' decision to study abroad: the level of self-determined motivation and the content of their goals. A newly developed questionnaire, the Self-regulation Questionnaire-Study Abroad was used to test the hypothesis that self-determined motivation to study abroad would be more beneficial for students' adaptation outcomes than non-self-determined motivation. This hypothesis was generally supported. Using the Goals for Study Abroad Scale, the two-factor structure of students' goals was discovered. It consisted of a 'Preservation factor', which reflects the goals of avoiding disadvantageous conditions in the home country, and a 'Self-development factor', which reflects the goal of pursuing good education and better career opportunities abroad. The preservation goals were negatively related with cultural adaptation indicators. The level of self-determination and the goals to study abroad had an independent effect on cultural adaptation of the students. The potential applications of these two motivational parameters to study migration motivation were discussed. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.