Experiences of international students in a UK Medical School: cultural, professional and academic transitions

Pak, Katie (2019) Experiences of international students in a UK Medical School: cultural, professional and academic transitions. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This thesis seeks to examine and explore the experiences of international students in a UK Medical School, adding to the limited literature on international students who study on professional courses, like medicine. Such students face unique demands, for example, international medical students must make the usual demanding transition to UK university life while becoming immediately proficient with UK professional medical culture and managing a particularly lengthy and demanding course.

I employ a qualitative case study design to capture the key experiences and issues faced by international students studying on an undergraduate medical programme. Methods include semi-structured interviews and a focus group to explore the perceptions, views and feelings of the students and staff in the case studied.

I develop a conceptual framework using concepts of culture, othering, academic transition and internationalisation to explore my data. I take a non-essentialist concept of culture to analyse individual cultural identities in order to avoid homogenisation of the international medical students involved in my study. I explore issues around belonging, discrimination, and conflicting institutional and student priorities.

I argue that othering is a common and negative experience for some international medical students. Experiencing significant challenges in terms of adapting to life in the UK, academically, professionally and culturally, they also found it difficult to engage in successful intercultural communication and to gain a sense of belonging. I also identify the experience of transition for students as being rich and complex, rather than linear or hierarchical. Moving to a higher education policy perspective, I argue that a transformative approach to internationalisation could promote significant benefit for all students and staff.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Users 9280 not found.
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2019 12:20
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2019 12:20
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/71341

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