Outside in the Moana? Chinese International Students’ Experiences of Studying in Pacific Studies at The University of Auckland, New Zealand.
Keywords:Chinese International Students; Higher Education; Pacific Studies; Intercultural Communication; International Education; China; Pacific
Scholarship that explores the experiences of Chinese International Students in New Zealand have identified language barriers, differing rationale in classroom participation and “face” as a concept that mediates their scholastic journey. At the University of Auckland, New Zealand, the majority of Chinese international students take up majors such as finance, computing and engineering. This paper is the first to explore the experiences of Chinese international students majoring in Pacific Studies at a postgraduate level. We make use of data gleaned from critical autoethnographic and talanoa interview methods to explore the uniqueness of this positionality through a thematic talanoa. In doing so we argue their experiences are similar but also differ in important ways from other Chinese international students, in that those in Pacific Studies were also presented with a greater awareness of the need to negotiate their lives between multiple cultural contexts: Mainstream New Zealand society, Pacific Studies – a learning environment that emphasises decolonisation and Indigenous knowledge – while living as Chinese students in a foreign land.
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