Reaching Beyond: The Lived Experience of Loss Among Overseas Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic


This qualitative study explored how overseas students experienced loss during the COVID-19 pandemic. It involved in-depth, semi-structured interviews with six college students returning to their home countries for winter vacation and requested to postpone their return to campus life in December 2020. Their accounts were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Two major themes were identified from the analysis: (1) deconstructing the familiar, which included three sub-themes: loss of autonomy and freedom of movement, loss of in-person class, and loss of psychological well-being; and (2) moving forward, which comprised two sub-themes: learning to live with inconvenience and reaching beyond. These findings implied an understanding of loss as deconstructing the familiar and resilience as bouncing forward and reaching beyond. These findings inform future research and help counsellors, mental health professionals, and academics better understand college students’ experiences of loss and resilience during the pandemic.

Author Information
Chin-Ping Liou, Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: IICE2022
Stream: Counselling

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon