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What a difference a zoom makes: Intercultural interactions between host and international students

Collins, H and Callaghan, D What a difference a zoom makes: Intercultural interactions between host and international students. Journal of comparative and International Higher Education. ISSN 2151-0393 (Accepted)

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Abstract

Student mobility has become a key feature in the drive towards internationalisation of higher education in the UK. International students contribute to the academic and cultural life of universities and cities yet often face discrimination, isolation and cultural adjustment problems. Studies highlight that support from the host student community can make the difference between an easy or difficult transition. This article is part of a larger project about host student perceptions of international students, where we conducted a qualitative study into the perceptions of intercultural interactions of a group of 36 host students. Initial analysis indicated that social interactions among international and host students do not become intertwined informally and work best through planned interventions that take account of space, time and opportunity. However, at the start of the pandemic many institutions, such as ours, transitioned from face to face to online learning using a range of technology including zoom. We noticed a marked increase in interaction among students online, and returned to our research participants to enquire what differences, if any, online learning had made to their intercultural experiences. This study focuses on the impact of the Virtual Classroom (VC), in our context mainly zoom, on intercultural relationships, and explores host students’ experience of physical and virtual interaction. Our study shows that zoom offers a platform for increased interaction than hitherto experienced in traditional face-to-face classrooms, that VCs can enable intercultural behaviour to develop, and we suggest recommendations to inform the planning and design of host and international student communication, for universities, students and future projects. Key words: host students, intercultural behaviour, international students, virtual classrooms, zoom

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: host students; intercultural behaviour; international students; virtual classrooms; zoom
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Divisions: Business & Management (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Comparative and International Education Society
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2021 11:24
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2021 11:30
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15702

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