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Understanding friendship and learning networks of international and host students using longitudinal Social Network Analysis

Rienties, Bart and Nolan, Eimear-Marie (2014). Understanding friendship and learning networks of international and host students using longitudinal Social Network Analysis. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 41 pp. 165–180.

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While the number of international students travelling abroad for higher education constantly increases, it has been recognised among educators that international students have difficulty adjusting to their host educational environment. Past research indicates that international students’ personal ties with other international, home and host students can influence their cross-cultural adjustment to their new environment. Drawing from cross-cultural, educational science and social network research, we conducted a longitudinal study using dynamic social network analyses into how 485 international and 107 host students build learning and work relationships at both bachelor and post-graduate level.

Results indicate that students from different cultural backgrounds develop dissimilar co-national and international friendships and learning relationships over time. Additionally, in contrast to previous findings our MRQAP and multiple regression analyses indicate that social interactions among international and host students did not become more intertwined over time. However, active (mixed) group activities (temporarily) increase cross-cultural interaction, indicating that institutions can play an active role in improving cross-cultural adjustment.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
ISSN: 0147-1767
Keywords: social network analysis; longitudinal study; pre-post testing; international students; friendship; learning; host students
Academic Unit/School: Learning and Teaching Innovation (LTI) > Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
Learning and Teaching Innovation (LTI)
Item ID: 39401
Depositing User: Bart Rienties
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2014 13:44
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 11:41
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