Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Preparing for life in a global community : a reflective study of the developing socio-cultural context of the international student
Author: Montgomery, Catherine.
ISNI:       0000 0000 7737 8774
Awarding Body: University of Northumbria at Newcastle
Current Institution: Northumbria University
Date of Award: 2006
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
International students are transient visitors to our academic communities yet they form an integral part of the social context of Higher Education in the UK. Although individually these students remain in UK universities for a limited period of time, as a group they are always present on campuses and in classrooms and are therefore a significant element of the social and cultural landscape of Higher Education. Some research has focused upon how international students benefit and improve the quality of academic and social exchange within the classroom and on campus (Volet and Ang, 1998). However, there has been only limited research that has considered international students' friendship groups (Bochner, 1977, Black et al, 1991) and qualitative studies that relate social networks of international students and learning are rare. The aim of this study was to analyse the role of socio-cultural context in the academic and personal experience of a group of international students in order to investigate how these students' social networks contributed to the development of their personal and learning experience. This study sought to explore the factors that were involved in the international student's development of social networks both in their academic activity and the activities that surround their learning experience. The study was approached using a qualitative framework, employing semi-structured interviews and an extensive observation scheme. The research did not begin with a formulated hypothesis and both issues and theory were allowed to emerge throughout the pilot study and the main data collection. As the study progressedit becamea pparentt hat the international studentsi n the study were part of a strong and supportive network that resembled a community of practice. It appeared that ' this purposeful and highly motivated international community was developed as a means of replacing social capital that was lost in transition from their home context. Through their contact with the international network (UK students appeared to be peripheral to this network) the students seemed to develop a view of themselves as part ofa global community. It is the suggestion of this study that international students' participation in a network that is made up of a majority of international, non-UK members should not be seen as a deficit. The students in this study viewed their international community as an important part of their learning experience. However, it may be that universities need to strengthen their emphasis on the social context of learning in order that all students and staff may benefit from the perspective that contact with an international community can bring.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available