Settling in Overseas: An Investigation into the Volunteering Experience of Western Residents in Taiwan

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2010

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Abstract

Influenced by the climate of globalization, today more Westerners travel to Taiwan countries to expand their business or for advanced study. In a new cultural context, these people face the issue of cultural adaptation. This study presents findings of an investigation into the volunteering experience of Westerners in Taiwan. The population studied is Western migrants who work in Taiwan and who engage in volunteering as a leisure activity. This is an explorative study investigating a group of volunteers from two Taiwanese non-profit organizations, Animals Taiwan and Taiwan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The study first examines the motivation of foreigners to become volunteers. Then it proceeds to discuss cultural adaptation of the volunteers. Cultural adaptation is assumed to consist of psychological and sociocultural adaptation and the findings of the study are divided into these two groups. Although the study examines the issue of cultural adaptation from an individual perspective, it is expected, however, that the findings improve the understanding of the issue of foreign volunteer management in NPOs.

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volunteering, Western migrants, cultural adaptation

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