International students in transnational mobility: intercultural connectedness with domestic and international peers, institutions and the wider community

Ly Thi Tran*, Lien Pham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

International students’ connectedness with their peers, institutions and the broader community significantly affects their learning and wellbeing. It is important to understand their multiple desires for intercultural connectedness in order to nurture it. This paper analyses the motives and nature of international students’ intercultural connectedness. It is based on a study that includes more than 150 interviews and fieldwork with international students and staff from 25 vocational education colleges in Australia. Drawing on Blumer’s symbolic interactionism theory as a conceptual framework, the study found international students’ motivation to engage in intercultural connectedness is linked to not only their desire for respect and recognition for intellectual, cultural and linguistic capacities and diversities but also for employment aspirations. The research shows various dimensions in which intercultural engagement is seen to encompass not only empathy, sociability and equity but also employability. The findings suggest meaningful interaction is essentially bound to reciprocal learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-581
Number of pages22
JournalCompare
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2016

Keywords

  • intercultural interaction
  • international education
  • international students
  • student engagement
  • student mobility

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