On the Tide Between Being an Insider and Outsider: Experiences From the Research on International Student Mobility in Germany

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This chapter draws on the author's doctoral fieldwork which was conducted in Germany with 35 international doctoral students in 2009. It looks at the social support networks of international students and considered how they established and maintained friendships. The chapter shows the role of everyday practices in establishing social support networks and within this considered the languages students used. It shows how they engaged with the local academic culture and the type of relationships they established with local students and the wider host society. While students may share academic pursuits, differences exist. Furthermore, although nationality is often assumed to be the major difference among international students, the author found that it was not the only one. The concept of positionality shifts the conceptualization of culture from a solid and homogeneous existence, to one which contains internal variations. The explanation and justification of the respondents' relationships with immigrant communities became an interesting and important aspect.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInsider Research on Migration and Mobility
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Perspectives on Researcher Positioning
EditorsL Voloder, L Kirpitchenko
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherAshgate Publishing
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781317116028
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameInsider Research on Migration and Mobility
PublisherAshgate Publishing

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