Strand: Short Conference paper
Anticipated outcomes: widening understanding of the subject area
Sheffield Hallam University as many other universities in the UK has been attracting a great number of students from around the world. International students bring with them different cultural heritage and traditions, enriching their own, as well as home students’, experience at the University. Furthermore, they motivate home students, along with themselves, to develop intercultural skills, which are becoming vital in today’s globalised world. In this sense, international students are valuable resources.
This potential, however, has been often underestimated while rather negative perceptions of them, especially non-EU students, popularly prevail, resulting at times in their segregation from home students in classroom, friendship groups and social life in general. International students have plenty to offer to home students, facilitating them to further develop essential skills and attributes. In this manner, international students’ welfare and their experiences at the University are directly relevant to home students’ learning experiences.
The aims of the research are to investigate interactions amongst students with an emphasis on interactions between home and international students in the classroom setting. In particular, it explores the way they approach, and relate to, one another, the way they form groups and friendship, and how they handle dilemmas and conflicts. The main purpose of this research is to improve integration and cooperation between home and international students and develop intercultural skills.
The postgraduate students enrolled in the Master’s on Sport Business Management programme in the Department of Sport at SHU were the participants of the research. Ethnographic research offered guiding principles for the research. The researchers have observed the students in a number of sessions from October 2012 throughout April 2013. In addition, we have also employed informal and formal interviews with the students to gather fuller and ‘thick’ data.
Click to view presentation: 277 LTA conference presentation 2013