Choices and challenges : Chinese graduate students'transitional issues at a Canadian university
The purpose of this study was to identify reasons why Chinese graduate students chose one Canadian university in which to study and to examine the transitional issues they encountered. Based on post-positivistic epistemology as the philosophical foundation, Creswell’s (2002) triangulation design in mixed methods research was employed. Fifty-one Chinese graduate students registered in master or doctoral programs at the university responded to an online survey that collected quantitative and qualitative data. Excel and SPSS (18.0) were employed to analyze the quantitative data. Descriptive statistics (means, standard deviations, frequencies, and percentages) were utilized to examine the participants’ transitional issues. Qualitative data were analyzed to develop major themes in relation to the participants’ reasons for choosing this university in which to study and the transitional issues. Trustworthiness of the study was discussed from both qualitative and quantitative perspectives. The findings showed that the participants came to study at this university in Canada because of academic reasons, such as high-quality academic programs, research focus, competent faculty members, appropriate admission requirements, world-recognized degrees, and the opportunity to practice English. When studying in their academic programs, they encountered difficulties with listening, speaking, and academic writing in English. They also encountered difficulties in understanding academic readings, seeking advice, course work, and lack of resources. In their daily lives, the students encountered loneliness, isolation, lack of communication due to different cultures, financial issues, and accommodation problems.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeCheng, Hongming; Kapoor, Dip; Balzer, Geraldine; Walker, Keith; Renihan, Patrick
Copyright DateJuly 2011
Chinese graduate students