How do international students understand the concept of “integration”, and how does this relate to their experiences settling into life in a host country?

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-08-17
Identifier: 
etd21044
Keywords: 
International students
Integration
Multiculturalism
Immigration
Canadian immigration
Indian students
Abstract: 

The number of international students in tertiary education has soared in recent decades, driven by rising student demand and countries competing to boost their economic and human capital. International students are often considered “ideal” migrants, yet they are frequently overlooked in the integration literature despite having the same vulnerabilities as other immigrants. This exploratory study investigates what integration means according to 16 Indian students who studied at Canadian postsecondary institutions. Via interviews and a survey, it found participants had a multicultural understanding of integration that emphasizes sociopolitical and, secondarily, economic dimensions. This understanding differs from dominant conceptualizations of multicultural integration as it underscores the role of the immigrant in being open to other cultures, and considers “horizontal” processes of integration to be as important as “vertical” factors such as immigration policies. Participants’ adjustment strategies and trajectories were affected by their views on what integration should mean; their existing economic, social and cultural capital; and their original motivations for moving to Canada. Highlighting how integration is highly context-dependent, this study reveals processes that are commonly overlooked by theories and measures of integration.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Irene Pang
John Harriss
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: School for International Studies
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
Statistics: