Experiences of Chinese international students living in Australia: Wellbeing from "we" to "me"
Whilst there is evidence of subjective wellbeing being related to academic success, good performance within and beyond university, degree attainment, and positive subsequent physical, mental, economic, and social outcomes in the university student population, less is known on how different student populations perceive, experience, and cultivate wellbeing. The current study explored the perspectives and experiences of one such population: Chinese international students at several universities across Australia. Semi-structured interviews with 30 students indicated that participants mainly experienced wellbeing through experiences of competence, feeling supported by family and friends, low levels of pressure, and giving to others. Almost half of the participants believed that people around them had low wellbeing. Students indicated drawing upon intrapersonal activities as the primary pathway to support their own wellbeing, whereas they pointed to interpersonal activities to support other’s wellbeing. The findings show the mismatch between students’ wellbeing experiences and pathways, shed light on understanding students’ wellbeing in the higher education context, and identify some of the contextual and cultural factors that contribute to wellbeing experiences and pathways. Implications for interculturally nuanced approaches to understanding and supporting wellbeing are considered.
Key words: subjective wellbeing, intercultural experiences, studying abroad, Chinese international students, content analysis, higher education
Copyright (c) 2022 Lanxi Huang, Margaret L. Kern, Lindsay G. Oades
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