The Challenges of International Research Students Studying in an Australian University Context
Yeoh, JSW, The Challenges of International Research Students Studying in an Australian University Context, Proceedings of the Australian Multicultural Interaction Institute International Conference, 16-18 May 2012, Phuket, Thailand, pp. 327-336. ISBN 978-0-646-58268-9 (2013) [Conference Extract]
The flows of international students study aboard in Australia increase year by year. It is a challenge for student study aboard in a new environment. This is especially refers to postgraduate research students. They experienced more difficulties in studies. So, it is crucial to investigate the challenges that international research students face in their studies and daily life at the University of Tasmania. This study aims to provide insightful information and guidance not only for current and future international research students in Australian universities, but also for various educational services and relevant government agencies to provide more effective support to them. Qualitative research method was used to gain deeper insights of the issue. Semi-structured interviews were conducted on ten participants who are selected randomly from different faculties. The interview were conducted face-to-face and individually with each participants. All collected qualitative data were analyzed by Nvivo (version 8). Constructivist grounded theory was the basis of qualitative data analysis. The findings indicated that academic factors, supportive environment, interpersonal relationships with supervisors, physical health and psychological wellbeing are challenges related to academic and daily lives of international research students when they were studying in the Tasmanian tertiary education context. Demographic factors including cultural background, educational background and length in research are influential factors identified in this study. Lastly, coping strategies used by international research students in handling physical health and psychological wellbeing in Tasmania are examined to give references for current and prospective international research students in the Australian university context.
international research students, challenges, academic factors, physical health, coping strategies