Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development > Vol. 6, No. 1 (2009)

We are, he is and I am: The adjustment accounts of two male Saudi Arabian nursing students at an Australian university

Warren Midgley, USQ

Abstract

This paper reports on the analysis of a narrative discussion group facilitated by the author as a part of a larger study. The participants in this group were two male Saudi Arabian nursing students of a similar age, studying the same course at the same time at the same Australian university, who had chosen to be together in this group. The discussion that was recorded for this study was in response to the request to “tell me about your experiences here”. The data demonstrate that these two individuals have had very different experiences, resulting from their very different responses to the challenges of living and studying in Australia. The data support the view of scholars such as Koehne (2005) and Kumar (2005) arguing against reductionist views of international students. The paper concludes by appealing for a more holistic person-in-context approach to providing support for beginning learners in higher education.

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