Friendship : its contribution to identity formation of international students.

Friendship : its contribution to identity formation of international students. Clayton Vic: Monash University. MEdSt. 1999. 105p. Includes bibliographical references.


This MEd thesis has developed from an interest in the intercultural friendships which develop in Australian universities. Relationships flourish, or not, temporarily or permanently, as people come and go. In the course of these comings and goings, exchange, knowledge, individual growth, courage, persistence, loneliness and friendship manifest themselves. This is a study of a small group of international students in an Australian university. Their stories are told in their own voices, and interpreted with the help of recent theoretical work in the field of international education. The study is based on a series of conversations which took place between July and December 1998. It was anticipated that connections would be made between friendships, formal and informal networks of the students, and their sense of identity as it emerged and altered during their sojourn in Australia. This identity formation, it was hoped, would provide insights into the ways international students engage in host institutions and communities, and the influence of institutional structures on this engagement. The narratives revealed distinct and individual experiences, and the students’ judgements about the value of their international academic experience. This included perceptions of the institutional setting, student colleagues and the relationships, which provide the material for this work.

For more information: Paula Durance