There is a paucity of studies conducted with unaccompanied adolescent international students. In this qualitative inquiry, I present a thematic analysis of the critical incidents that Chinese, Japanese, and Korean participants reported as either facilitating or hindering to their transition to Canada. Using the Critical Incident Technique, I conducted semi-structured interviews with 21 participants aged 15 to 18 years who were attending three public secondary schools in Vancouver, Canada. I present the findings of seven thematic categories: making decisions, experiencing dilemmas, receiving advice, receiving help, impressed with environment, experiencing local annoyances, and participation in activities. Finally, I address the implications for school counsellors who work with these students, the limitations of this study, and directions for future research.


Adolescent International Students, Unaccompanied Minors, Asian Students, Sojourners, High School Students, Cross-Cultural Counselling, Cultural Transition Adjustment, Qualitative Research, Critical Incident Technique

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