Although the number of international students in higher education has increased exponentially over the last few years, international students often struggle to adjust and adapt to the cultural and academic environment in host countries. The experience in an international context may change their cultural identities and alter their views on their home cultures. This study explores perceptions of cultures, cultural differences and cultural identities of international students and their cross-cultural communication patterns during their overseas stay. The ongoing study applies longitudinal mixed-methods design, with the use of surveys and semi-structured interviews, and is conducted over 18 months (from September 2017 to January 2019), including the period when students return to their countries. So far, 156 survey responses have been received and 22 interviews have been conducted*. Participants are international students pursuing taught master’s degrees in Newcastle University, UK. Research findings show that there are relationships between cultural identities (i.e. senses of belonging) and communication patterns (i.e. sources, the quantity and quality of social contacts) of the students, and perceptions of cultural differences can also influence these patterns of communication.
Thi My Hanh Pho, Newcastle University, United Kingdom
Stream: Cultural Studies
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