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Acculturative stress, meaning making, and attachment in international university students


How do international university students in Germany perceive the stress caused by living in a foreign country?

How do international students deal with this acculturative stress?

Which ressources help to cope with this acculturative stress?


Dear international student,

thank you for your interest in this study!

This study investigates the effects of acculturative stress on the mental health of international students and how personal and social resources help them to cope with this stress. Acculturative stress can be defined as the stress that emerges from conflicts when individuals must adjust to a new culture of the host society.

By participating, in addition to helping us to identify the psychological issues of international students, you will benefit from the chance to receive one of 30x 20 Euro gift cards.

It will take approximately 20-25 minutes to complete.

As this study aims at investigating students who are currently enrolled at a German university and are living in Germany for a long-term period, please do not participate in this study if you will live in Germany for less than one year or are not currently enrolled at a German university.

Participation in this study is of course voluntary. You can cancel your participation at any time without giving a reason.

Your data will be entered into the computer anonymously and also analyzed anonymously. It will not be passed to third parties. To receive the gift card as a PDF via email, you can enter your email address on another page at the end so that your data is not connected to the email address and is still stored anonymously.

In case you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via

Thank you and best regards,

Rasa Soufi Amlashi (PhD student), María Fernanda Eivar Fonseca, Rojin Kartal (Master students) and Prof. Dr. Simon Forstmeier


If necessary, you can find further details in the fold-out participant information (data protection declaration).


Wenn Ihr Deutsch besser ist als Ihr Englisch:

Liebe internationale Studentin, lieber internationale Student,

vielen Dank für Ihr Interesse an dieser Studie!

Diese Studie untersucht die Auswirkungen von Akkulturationsstress auf die psychische Gesundheit internationaler Studierender und wie persönliche und soziale Ressourcen ihnen helfen, mit diesem Stress umzugehen. Akkulturationsstress kann als der Stress definiert werden, der aus Konflikten entsteht, wenn Individuen sich an eine neue Kultur der Gastgesellschaft anpassen müssen.

Durch Ihre Teilnahme unterstützen Sie uns nicht nur dabei, die psychischen Probleme internationaler Studierender zu identifizieren, sondern haben auch die Chance, eine von 30x 20 Euro Geschenkkarten zu erhalten.

Die Bearbeitung dauert ungefähr 20-25 Minuten.

Da diese Studie darauf abzielt, Studierende zu untersuchen, die derzeit an einer deutschen Universität eingeschrieben sind und sich mehrere Jahre in Deutschland aufhalten, nehmen Sie bitte nicht an dieser Studie teil, wenn Sie weniger als ein Jahr in Deutschland leben werden oder derzeit nicht an einer deutschen Universität eingeschrieben sind.

Die Teilnahme an dieser Studie ist selbstverständlich freiwillig. Sie können Ihre Teilnahme jederzeit ohne Angabe von Gründen abbrechen.

Ihre Daten werden anonym in den Computer eingegeben und auch anonym analysiert. Sie werden nicht an Dritte weitergegeben. Um die Geschenkkarte als PDF per E-Mail zu erhalten, können Sie am Ende auf einer anderen Seite Ihre E-Mail-Adresse eingeben, sodass Ihre Daten nicht mit der E-Mail-Adresse verbunden sind und dennoch anonym gespeichert werden.

Sollten Sie Fragen haben, zögern Sie bitte nicht, uns unter zu kontaktieren.

Vielen Dank und beste Grüße,

Rasa Soufi Amlashi (Doktorandin), María Fernanda Eivar Fonseca, Rojin Kartal (Masterstudierende) und Prof. Dr. Simon Forstmeier

Bei Bedarf können Sie weitere Details in der ausklappbaren Teilnehmerinformation (Datenschutzerklärung) finden.



There are 29 questions in this survey.
This survey is anonymous.

The record of your survey responses does not contain any identifying information about you, unless a specific survey question explicitly asked for it.

If you used an identifying access code to access this survey, please rest assured that this code will not be stored together with your responses. It is managed in a separate database and will only be updated to indicate whether you did (or did not) complete this survey. There is no way of matching identification access codes with survey responses.

Participant information

Acculturative stress, meaning making, and attachment in international university students


Dear participant,

We are pleased that you are interested in our study. On this sheet you will find some information about the study and the process. Please read this information carefully. If you have any questions, please contact us. If you agree with the information received and are willing to participate, please confirm this by giving your consent at the bottom of the page.

Purpose of the research: This study is about the experience of acculturative stress perceived by international university students. Acculturative stress refers to the mental strain experienced by individuals when they attempt to adapt to a new culture. We want to get an insight into how the experience of living abroad may affect university students’ psychological outcome (perceived stress, mood, and well-being) and how the students’ resources (emotion regulation, social support, meaning making) may help in coping with the stress. We will not ask to describe your personal experiences in detail; you will only answer some questions by ticking boxes. We hope that we can better help international students to better adapt to living and studying in Siegen.

All international students at the University of Siegen or other German universities can participate in this research.

Procedure and duration: The online survey takes about 25 minutes to complete. You will first be presented with a description of the study and your decision to take part in the study that you should read carefully. You will then be asked to answer a few questions related to your demographic information and then you will be asked to answer the questions concerning stress, mood, wellbeing, emotion regulation, social support, and meaning making.

Among all participants, 30 gift vouchers worth €10 each will be raffled.

Anonymity: The data is collected completely anonymously, so that we can never draw any conclusions about your person. Due to this circumstance, it is also not possible for us to delete your data after the survey has ended. At the end of the survey, you will therefore have the opportunity to withdraw your consent to the processing of the data. The anonymized data can be passed on to third parties involved in research.

The retention period for fully anonymized data is a minimum of 10 years after data analysis or a minimum of 10 years after the publication of a study related to this data.

Voluntary nature and withdrawal: Participation in this survey is voluntary for you. You can withdraw from participation in the study at any time by a) closing the survey without having answered all the questions or b) withdrawing your consent to the processing of your data at the end of the survey. You will not suffer any disadvantages by withdrawing from the study.

Declaration of consent

I was informed in writing about the survey and the way it was carried out. I had enough time to make my decision. I agree to participate in the above survey. I know that participation is voluntary and anonymous and that I can withdraw from participation at any time without giving a reason.


Yes, I want to take part in the survey.

No, I do not agree and do not want to take part in the survey.


Contact: If you have any further questions, please contact Mrs. Rasa Soufi Amlashi ( as a representative of the project.