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Title: Balancing risks and stability on a multicultural campus : the roles and strategies of long-stay international students in achieving study success and inter-cultural competence
Author: Shannon-Little, Paul Anthony
ISNI:       0000 0004 2725 5134
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2012
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The experience of studying on a multicultural campus is regarded as a highly potent means of developing intercultural skills. However many studies report that authentic interaction between domestic and incoming students is often disappointingly absent. Through interviews this study investigates the experiences of long-stay international students at a British university who have been relatively successful in developing cross- cultural relations. An analysis is carried out of their descriptions of contacts with other cultures and the resulting effects in four areas: their attitudes and behaviour in negotiating cross-cultural interaction, the strategies they adopted to ease their adjustment to the new environment and to reflect on their culture of origin, their levels of success in adopting roles which allowed them to contribute to culturally mixed collectives, and their expectations and motivations to apply what they have learned to future interactions. To locate their responses within a theoretical framework, I have drawn loosely on Lave & Wenger's community of practice conception of learning in a professional context and related it to peer-group formation within study cohorts. The roles interviewees assumed acknowledged their reliance on others' support, but also allowed them to contribute in other ways to the collective. In Wenger's terms many describe a shift over time from legitimate peripheral participation towards core membership. Expectations of future approaches towards intercultural contact and transferability of skills, attitudes and knowledge showed a wide degree of variation, depending on what Wenger terms their trajectories: previous experience, current attitudes and future plans. Five distinct types of trajectory were identified from the interview data. A discussion follows, of ways in which knowledge of these various attitudes, strategies., roles and trajectories can be used to inform the activities of staff in Higher Education wishing to improve and accelerate the quality and reflexivity of students' multicultural experiences.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available