Diversifying social networks: ‘Unpacking’ the experiences of international exchange students
Refereed conference paper presented and published in conference proceedings


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AbstractContemporary study abroad researchers have discovered that international exchange students sometimes find it difficult to initiate and build meaningful multicultural friendships while in the host country. Contrary to their hopes and expectations, many end up spending much of their free time socializing with co-nationals in their first language. With limited advances in intercultural sensitivity and host language proficiency, they may then return home with little or no desire to engage in intercultural interactions. With these findings in view, I designed a fully online course to enhance the intercultural learning and engagement of international exchange students.
After describing the course components, this poster will focus on the social networks and evolving intercultural attitudes, perspectives, and experiences of the participants. Through online posts they shared the difficulties they faced as they tried to diversify their social networks in the host environment. In the discussion board and reflective essay they offered insight into the strategies that they used to cultivate multicultural friendships. After the course ended, in a questionnaire survey and interview, they discussed the impact of the course on their intercultural understanding and ability to diversify their friendship circles. This poster will highlight the challenges and benefits of providing online support to deepen the intercultural engagement and multicultural relationships of course participants.
All Author(s) ListJane Jackson
Name of ConferenceEuropean Association of International Education (EAIE)
Start Date of Conference12/09/2017
End Date of Conference15/09/2017
Place of ConferenceSeville
Country/Region of ConferenceSpain
Proceedings TitleEAIE 2017
Year2017
Month9
Place of PublicationSeville
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
Keywordssocial network, study abroad, intercultural communication

Last updated on 2018-29-06 at 12:31