The acculturation process in hostels of a higher education institution
South Africa is no longer trapped in an apartheid era and is now perceived as a multinational state, implying that not only the composition of labour forces have changed, but all other institutions have developed into being more representative of all races. Thus whilst the workplace demographics are rapidly changing, more individuals are preparing themselves to enter the workplace. As a result more diverse cultures also prevail within hostels of higher educational institutions. The objectives of this study were to investigate individual preferences in terms of acculturation strategies as utilised by students in hostels of a higher education institution. Another important objective was to understand the effect of acculturation strategies has on the general well-being and health of individuals. In order to achieve these objectives, Berry's bi-directional Acculturation Model, as well as the Interactive Acculturation Model was used. A cross-sectional survey design with an availability sample (N = 245) was used, taken from hostel students of 3 higher education institution in South Africa. The questionnaire consisted of various items on the acculturation scale, as well as a biographical questionnaire. Descriptive statistics, factor analyses, Cronbach alpha coefficients, MANOVAs, Multiple Regression Analysis, and Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients were used to analyse the data. The results pointed out that females preferred Separation or Assimilation, while males preferred Integration as acculturation strategy. Female hostels preferred Separation as acculturation strategy and male hostels preferred Integration as acculturation strategy. Acculturation strategies in terms of race showed that White groups preferred integration and African groups preferred Separation. Regarding the effect that acculturation strategies have on health, males experienced high levels of physical health problems. Recommendations were made for further research.