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Social networking and international student integration at university

Brewer, S. ORCID:, Copping, E., Huang, J. and Wilding, E. ORCID: (2018) Social networking and international student integration at university. International Study Experience Journal.

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This paper will describe a project designed to investigate the transition of international students into the University of Reading, focusing on interpersonal dynamics as evidenced in social networking and group work. The project was undertaken as part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP), a scheme to give Part 2 students hands-on research experience, and had two aims. One was to provide an environment where the student investigators could learn and develop research skills through experience; the other was to gather data from current students to learn more about how they use social media and social networking and how this impacts on their sense of integration into the University community. This paper is a reflective account explaining the process, drawing on the UROP students’ perspectives and presenting some of the findings. The surveys carried out by the student researchers indicated a preference for Wechat over Facebook and Instagram, reflecting the high proportion of Chinese among the international student population, but there was a strong sense generally that social media networks could and should be used more by the University to build multicultural interaction. The process of developing the research and writing up the findings gave the student researchers more confidence in their developing research skills, but increased their awareness of the challenges of undertaking research.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > International Study and Language Institute (ISLI)
ID Code:102718

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