The Social media and international students’ opportunity for social inclusion in Australia
A comparative study of Chinese and Indian international students
Social media has fully permeated into international students’ life. However, how this new power influences their opportunities to engage the host society is under-researched. This study address this question through qualitative interviews with twenty Chinese and Indian international students in Australia’s university. The result shows that social media plays an instrumental role with generally positive effects. It specifically promotes three dimensions of social inclusion:1) connection with local people; 2) culture inclusion; and 3) participation in the local community. Moreover, Indian participants feel more included than Chinese students, which could be attributed to social media choice and language proficiency. As part of a growing body of research on international students, this project promotes the understanding of the largest international student groups in Australia and provides a new perspective to understand the impact of social media in influencing international students’ engagement. In general, it contributes to future studies on similar topics.
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