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Title: International students' experience in the peripheries : a case study in Kyrgyzstan
Author: Khan, H.
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2020
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Internationalisation is a norm in higher education. A main facet of internationalisation is the mobility of students across borders for higher education. Mobility towards the global North (developed countries) was a dominant trend until recently. This mobility resulted in student experience and a vast amount of research exists on these mobility-related experiences of international students in the context of the global North. However, due to the economic, cultural, political and academic benefits of internationalisation, countries from the global South also started attracting international students. Resultantly, this Southward mobility has become a new and emerging trend in international education and there is a lack of research on mobilities within these peripheral contexts. This study is focused on one such peripheral context. It explored regional international students’ experience in Kyrgyzstan using Bourdieusian theoretical lens of thinking tools. This research aimed at finding answers to three important questions related to international student mobility and ensuing experiences in this country. These three questions were about international students’ reasons for choosing Kyrgyzstan as a higher education destination, their living experience in the country and how this experience is shaping their future image. This exploratory study adopted an intrinsic case study strategy under the interpretive paradigm. Qualitative data was collected through semi-structured interviews, group discussion and diary entries from a group of eight international students studying at the site of the research. The findings revealed that the dominant reasons for leaving their home country and choosing Kyrgyzstan as higher education destination were broadly academic and future employment-related. Regarding the living experiences, it was discovered that the students faced personal, social and academic adjustment difficulties due to homesickness, English medium instruction, curriculum, the language barrier in social situations, and social isolation. However, some of the positive experiences of the students were associated with English medium of instruction and curriculum. Additionally, the students expressed higher satisfaction with residential facilities, availability of financial support, diversity on campus and academic support. The study has importance for the researcher, the management of the university which was the site of the research and other stakeholders as it provides information, knowledge and understanding about the context in which this study was conducted.
Supervisor: Abdollahzadeh, E. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available