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Understanding the Integration of Mainland Chinese Students: The Case of Finland

Authors:

Hanwei Li ,

Faculty of Education, University of Tampere, FI
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Pirkko Pitkänen

Faculty of Education, University of Tampere, FI
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Abstract

This study examines the integration experiences of mainland Chinese tertiary-level students in Finland, a non-Anglophone country. The article identifies four conceptual domains of integration – academic, social, economic and cultural – as central to the students’ integration processes. Data for analysing the Chinese students’ integration experiences were collected through semi-structured interviews (n = 30), and the research findings showed that both English and the host language Finnish mediated the Chinese students’ integration into the host academic and social environments. Although the students initially faced challenges in their studies and daily lives, many of them managed to establish meaningful cross-cultural social contact and overcame cultural differences and language barriers to integrate into the new academic environment. The findings suggest that the maintenance of transnational ties and co-national networks can facilitate Chinese international student integration abroad, through promotion of meaningful cross-cultural contacts that contribute to the host society.
How to Cite: Li, H. and Pitkänen, P., 2018. Understanding the Integration of Mainland Chinese Students: The Case of Finland. Nordic Journal of Migration Research, 8(2), pp.107–115. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1515/njmr-2018-0008
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Published on 01 Jun 2018.
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