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Health and wellbeing of international students in an Australian tertiary context

Yue, Y 2011 , 'Health and wellbeing of international students in an Australian tertiary context', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The rapid growth of international students in recent years has attracted enormous research interest from different disciplines. Due to the transition to an unfamiliar environment, most international students have experienced various degrees of physical and psychological adjustments. How to help these students maintain a good state of health and improve their psychological wellbeing has become a very important issue worthy to be studied.
This study was conducted with a research aim to investigate international tertiary students’ health and wellbeing in an Australian regional area. A mix of quantitative and qualitative research method was used to gain deeper insights into the issue. A 60-item questionnaire was utilised to collect quantitative data. A total of 341 international students in the University of Tasmania were recruited to complete the questionnaires. Meanwhile, 20 international students and 5 university staff in the same university were invited to participate in semi-structured interviews to explore their perceptions of the issue in an in-depth manner. Quantitative and qualitative data collected were analysed respectively by Predictive Analytics Software (PASW, version 18) and NVivo (version 8).
The findings indicate that academic issues, basic living conditions, financial worries, social contact and racial discrimination are factors significantly influencing international students’ physical health as well as their psychological and social wellbeing in the new environment. Demographic variables including age, gender, length of stay in Tasmania and English proficiency are also influential factors. There are eight coping strategies frequently used by the students. Family, friends, university and community are identified as four main sources of support. Lastly, this study also provides some recommendations for enhancing international students’ health and wellbeing in their acculturation into a new social and cultural context.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Yue, Y
Keywords: acculturation, psychological wellbeing, coping strategies, social support
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Copyright 2011 the author

Additional Information:

Appendix 3 published as two book chapters:
Yue, Y., & Lê, Q. (2011). International students: Their health and
education journey. In Q. Le (Ed.), Health and well-being: A social and
cultural perspective (pp. 173-184). New York: NOVA Science

Yue, Y., & Lê, Q. (2011). International students in a new cultural
environment. In T. Le & Q. Le (Eds.), Linguistic diversity and cultural
identity: A global perspective. New York: NOVA Science Publishers.

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