The number of international students seeking a foreign education, particularly in Westernized countries, has grown dramatically over the past decade, and is predicted to continue to increase, despite a period of disruption due to COVID-19. Given this growth, there is a significant body of research on key insights into the initial transition experiences, both academic and personal, of international students to the host country, with a developing body of research exploring their post-study transition. Understanding these post-study transitions is important in creating policy and services that appropriately support international students. Due to the diverse and sometimes complex post-study pathways of former international students, accessing this population to conduct qualitative research can create challenges for researchers. To help address these challenges, the authors highlight three critical considerations based on their qualitative research experiences in Westernized countries with former international students, including conceptual understandings, logistical planning, and relational engagement. Moreover, the authors share examples of pragmatic solutions related to challenges with conceptual understandings, logistical planning, and relational engagement in qualitative research with former international students. The purpose of this article is to start and invite discussion around how best to reach, access, and work with former international students to expand qualitative research on the post-study experience.
former international students, qualitative research, research design
This article was created through funding support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) through a Canada Graduate Scholarship and an Insight Grant, file number [435-2014-0529].
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Recommended APA Citation
Woodend, J., & Arthur, N. (2023). Qualitative Research with Former International Students: Reflections on Conceptualization, Planning and Relational Engagement. The Qualitative Report, 28(5), 1268-1281. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2023.6067