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Vol. 6 No. 1 (2015)

“It’s Both Ways”: How International Students Negotiate Belonging in Local and Global Contexts

June 26, 2015


This study sheds light on the overall adjustment of international students in local and global contexts. The study is based on in-depth focus groups with international students from three separate universities that are located in relatively small communities in Atlantic Canada. We find that participants negotiate a sense of belonging through a transnational process by forming multicultural friendship networks that primarily include other international students at university, while remaining somewhat detached from the local community and from Canada, despite their desire and efforts to become more integrated. The findings contribute to an understanding of the multiplicity of international student experiences from an intersectional paradigm. The authors suggest that a greater facilitation of the integration of international and domestic students within a multicultural framework is especially important in small and relatively homogeneous communities.