International Students and the Politics of Growth
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dc.contributor.author Kamara, Abu dc.description.abstract The international student population in Canada has increased significantly in the last decade. While we know a lot about the experiences of international students in general, we don’t know a lot about the specific experiences of international students in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Given that universities in the region have identified international student recruitment as part of their internationalization strategies, expanding our knowledge about international students’ experiences in Halifax not only has strong implications for universities, but also for provincial and local governments who see them as potential immigrants. Consequently, key research objectives for this study were to expand our understanding of the personal experiences of international students in Halifax, and to identify gatekeepers whose actions impact the experiences of international students. Two studies were designed using qualitative methodology. Study I investigated the personal experiences of international students in Halifax, Nova Scotia, while the main objective for Study II was to identify gatekeepers in the city whose actions are shaping the contexts of international student experiences. Interviews were conducted with international students from Saint Mary’s University, Mount Saint Vincent University, and Dalhousie University using a semi structured, open-ended interview method. The data was transcribed and coded using grounded theory method. Results from Study I suggest that while international students regularly turn to formal support networks, such as the international student center for immigration and employment related assistance, the majority of students interviewed for this dissertation also expressed strong preference for informal support networks. Specific individuals identified by study participants as belonging to informal support networks included friends, family members, and members of on-and off-campus organizations. Results from Study II suggest that internationalization in Canada is providing new ways for universities to help address local economic and demographic concerns. In sum, results from Study I suggest that international students rely on both formal and informal support networks to address the challenges they are facing in Canada, while findings from Study II suggest that demographic needs, and the expansion of the knowledge economy will continue to push universities to bigger and more central roles in the growth of cities.
- International students, challenges, internationalization growth machines, growth, politics, cities, transformation, universities,growth of cities, experiences, meaning, informal support networks, formal support networks, knowledge economy, civic universities, Canada, Halifax, transformation theory, urban growth machine, creative class, globalization,Nova Scotia
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