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Frontiers of Education in China

Front. Educ. China    2019, Vol. 14 Issue (2) : 234-256
Research article
Academic Integration of Chinese Students in Finland and Germany: A Comparative Perspective
Hanwei LI()
Department of Sociology, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, China; Manchester China Institute, the University of Machester, Machester M139PL, UK
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It has been recognized that international students studying in non-Anglophone countries face more challenges in integrating into local higher education institutions for a number of reasons, such as the local language barrier and cultural differences. This study aims to understand the challenges and coping strategies of academic integration in non-Anglophone countries from the students’ perceptive, taking Chinese students as an example and using a qualitative approach based on semi-structured interviews with 58 Chinese students in Germany and Finland. It shows that, despite learning environment differences between Finland and Germany, Chinese students face similar challenges, including individual ones, such as the mismatch between their academic background and learning requirements, or contextual ones, such as a lack of consideration for international students in the pedagogical approach and curriculum design adopted by the host higher education institutions. The results challenge the existing stereotype of Chinese students and present evidence of students’ resourcefulness in generating novel approaches to develop their learning capabilities. It also shows that traditional learning techniques may be used as pathways to achieving deep learning and understanding.

Keywords Chinese students      academic integration      Finland      Germany      higher education     
Issue Date: 05 July 2019
 Cite this article:   
Hanwei LI. Academic Integration of Chinese Students in Finland and Germany: A Comparative Perspective[J]. Front. Educ. China, 2019, 14(2): 234-256.
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