“Overseas students’ opinions on their interaction with native students”

Introduction

The percentage of international students is increasing every day. Arkoudis(2013) claims that there are several benefits for interaction between overseas students and domestic students to improve their learning and develop students' cognitive skills. Both the international students and native students can learn about each other’s culture. It seems that interaction among international students and native students is one the most important problem face both of them. The aim of this report is to investigate the international students using the survey to identify their opinion about interaction with native students.

Method

The main reason for this report was to study the overseas student's opinion about their interaction with domestic students. The data collected from the study depended on 13 international students survey from four different countries. The student age was range between 20s-50s.

   The survey was divided into five questions:

  • The first question consisted of a range of ages.
  • The second question was to know the country of the participants.
  • The third question was to know the number of international students who have native friends.
  • The fourth question was to know the student’s opinion if they prefer to spend time with people from the same country.
  • The fifth question consisted the group of agree/disagree questions.

Results

According to the data collected from the international student’s questionnaire. It was found that, the total number of international students who have participated in the survey 13 students from the following countries as shown in Table (1):

Country

Syrian

Saudi

Chinese

Thai

Number of student

2

6

4

1

Table (1)

  • Table (2) shows the range of ages of the participants:

20s-30s

30s-40s

40s-50s

4

7

1

Table (2)

  • The percentage of international students who has native friends approximately 35%. Meanwhile, the percentage of the international students who do not have any native friend was 65%.
  • International students who prefer to spend all his time with people from his own country, or most of the time, or sometimes was 2,6 and 4 respectively.
  • The figure (1) shows the Agree/disagree answers presented in the next bar chart:
    1. There are many benefits to having English friends.
    2. It is easy to meet English people at the university.
    3. I am only here to study. I have no time to make friends.
    4. The University should provide social activities to help me meet native speakers.
    5. I am aware of what groups are organized by the student union.

 

Discussion

The data analysis from the international students’ survey has found that most of the overseas students aware of the benefits of interaction with native students. Furthermore, many of the students commented on making friends with native students. At the same time, about half of the international students prefer to spend time with people from the same culture. Therefore, some of the international students care more about their culture and religion rather than socializing with native students. However, there are many opportunities to socialize separately from alcoholic activities, same as sport, films and too many other activities. In addition, some of the native students are fanatical about their cultures, that can stop international students from interacting with them.  Hence, a numerous number of the international students requested to interact with native students the main reason was to improve their language and to gain more knowledge about the culture of the host country. Arkoudis(2013) suggests that university staff can enhance the interaction between international students and domestic students by engaging them to work for group project such as Reading circle, same as these activities can break the wall between the students.

 

 

 

Reference

  • Arkoudis, S., Watty K., Baik, C., Yu, X., Borland, H., Chang, I., Lang J., Pearce, A., 2013, Finding common ground: enhancing interaction between domestic and international students in higher education, Teaching in Higher Education, 18(3), pp.222-235.



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