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ERIC Number: ED523028
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 377
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-6870-2
Graduate International Students' Social Experiences Examined through Their Transient Lives: A Phenomenological Study at a Private Research University in the United States
Kashyap, Nishmin
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Boston College
This is a phenomenological study of ten graduate international students at Chardin University (pseudonym). Through 30 in-depth interviews, multiple social contacts, and group and member checking sessions, stories emerged that highlight the social experiences of these graduate international students through their transient lives. Theoretical frameworks used to interpret the findings were transnationalism, adult transitional theory, and the graduate socialization model. This study provides a forum for participants to narrate their stories instead of being invisible and silent as they pass through our institutional corridors. What emerged from these narratives is that graduate international students cannot be grouped as one monolithic entity because they all lead variant and divergent lives. This research enumerates the intricacies, shades, and textures of their lives as they persist, succeed, and develop identities. In the past, graduate international students' social experiences have been portrayed in an oversimplified fashion, when in fact such students lead extremely complex lives as they negotiate a world that comprises both home and host country. Strongly lacking in the realm of social experiences have been meaningful relationships with American peers (looking beyond superficial ones), the university, and the local community. Operating within transnational social fields, regular prolonged conversations with family and friends from home tend to prevent participants from seeking out new connections in the United States. Most participants find comfort within their own ethnic enclaves, leading to cross-cultural isolation, which is still prevalent after decades of research conducted on this population. This study challenges universities to forge new pathways to engage with this vital and vibrant student body in meaningful, innovative, and creative ways. It is the responsibility of institutions of higher learning to understand the intricacies of their lives, as well as differences in religion, language, and socialization patterns. Universities need to find new ways to stay relevant in the lives of graduate international students during their tenure in the United States. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A