Understanding the International Student Experience: Preparing for Life in a Global Community


Presents a contemporary approach to the experience of international students in Higher Education. Using empirical and qualitative data, the book explores their social and cultural context and its impact on their learning experience.

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Understanding the International Student Experience

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Presents a contemporary approach to the experience of international students in Higher Education. Using empirical and qualitative data, the book explores their social and cultural context and its impact on their learning experience.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

CATHERINE MONTGOMERY is Associate Director for Research in the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Northumbria University. She has taught in Higher Education for 20 years, most recently in the field of Sociolinguistics, and her research interests centre on the social and cultural context of student learning.

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Table of Contents

Series Editors' Preface x

Preface xi

Aims and background to the book xi

An outline of the research supporting the book xiii

An overview of issues raised in the book xv

Acknowledgements xix

Part I The Context

1 Culture in Higher Education 3

The culture of internationalization in Higher Education 3

The discourse of 'marketization' in Higher Education 5

Culture and international students 7

Small cultures and communities of practice: Two helpful paradigms? 16

2 Research on the International Student Experience: A Cultural Landscape 19

Research spanning the years: Social relationships and international students in America 20

Large-scale research on international students: Examples from the UK and New Zealand 24

International students and approaches to learning 31

Language, identity and their influence on the context of learning 36

Summary 40

Part 2 The Research

3 Student Voices, Student Lives: International Students in Context 43

The importance of the methodology 44

The context for the study: A brief demographic background 47

Choice of network 48

The student profiles 49

Student experience in context 60

Summary 65

4 International Student Networks: A Community of Practice? 67

Social networks and international students 67

Social networks and modern technology 68

Social capital and international students 69

International students in a community of practice 71

Summary 76

5 International Students and Home Students: Worlds Apart? 79

The experience of young UK students: The Shipton study 80

Understanding home students' perception of international students 84

The friendships of international students 85

International students' friendships with home students 89

Relationships with home students: Worlds apart? 94

6 Preparing for Life in a Global Community? 97

Caveat: A complex picture 97

Language, identity and change 98

Development of a global community 104

Citizens of the international community? 109

7 Concluding Comments to the Research 111

The themes of the research 111

Summary 116

Part 3 Discussion

8 Paths towards an International Experience for All: the Criticality of Discourse, Context and Internationalization at Home 121

The influence of discourse 121

Ways of thinking about teaching and learning practices in an international context 123

The importance of context 126

Internationalization at home 128

Final comments 131

Postscript 133

Appendix 1 More Details of the Research study 138

Appendix 2 A Reflective Account of the Researcher 142

References 145

Index 155

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