Journal directory listing - Volume 65(2020) - Journal of Research in Education Sciences【65(3)】September

Experiences of International Students from the New Southbound Policy Countries in Taiwan: Their Motivations and Negotiations of Cultural Differences Author: Hsien-Ming Lin (Interculturalism, Migration and Minorities Research Centre, Katholieke Universiteit of Leuven), Yu-Hsien Sung (Department of Educational Studies, Ghent University)

Vol.&No.:Vol. 65, No.3
Date:September 2020

This study investigated international students from countries involved in the New Southbound Policy. We explored the motivations for why they chose to come to Taiwan and their strategies in adapting to a new culture. We recruited 23 students using purposive and snowball sampling. Data were collected using the qualitative approach of semi-structured interviews. Academic and economic considerations were the largest pull factors. Specifically, academic considerations constituted a large pull factor among students from developing countries in South and Southeast Asia. However, for students from developed countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore, the academic environment in Taiwanese institutions of higher education was not the most attractive factor. Compared with students from other regions, social factors and the influence of alumni networks had a larger influence on students from Southeast Asian countries (especially Malaysian students, but not Singaporean students). The influence of cultural factors varied widely depending on whether the student was a degree-seeking student or was of Chinese ethnicity. For degree-seeking students, too many cultural and language differences may have a negative influence on their decision to study in Taiwan. For non-degree-seeking students, such differences engender a perception of Taiwan as exotic and represent a learning opportunity, thus constituting a pull factor. Moreover, because overseas Chinese students are, on average, more conversant in Chinese, cultural similarity is a pull factor. For non-Chinese students, their Chinese language proficiency is a major consideration. With regard to adapting to life in Taiwan, most students reported adapting well. However, differences in culture, dietary habits, and language were challenges for some students. This study also discovered that students establish individualized adaptation strategies for dealing with challenges during study in Taiwan. These strategies facilitate cultural exchange by blurring cultural boundaries, thereby enhancing their learning competence and acceptance of cultural differences.

Keywords:boundary negotiation, intercultural communication, life adaptation, New Southbound Policy, motivations for studying abroad

《Full Text》 檔名

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APA FormatLin, H.-M., Sung, Y.-H. (2020). Experiences of International Students from the New Southbound Policy Countries in Taiwan: Their Motivations and Negotiations of Cultural Differences. Journal of Research in Education Sciences, 65(3), 81-122. doi:10.6209/JORIES.202009_65(3).0004