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Studying away strategies: well-being and quality of university life of international students in the UK

Smith, Andrew, Smith, Hugo and Jelley, Thomas 2018. Studying away strategies: well-being and quality of university life of international students in the UK. Journal of Education, Society and Behavioral Science. 26 (4) , 43377. 10.9734/JESBS/2018/43377

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Abstract

Background: Reviews of previous research have identified factors which influence the well-being of international students studying away from home. One area that has received little attention is the extent to which these students adopt positive coping strategies that help their adaptation to being away from home. Objectives: The present study investigated the well-being and quality of life of international students studying in the UK. The importance of adopting certain strategies from pre-departure planning to those related to returning home was also assessed. Method: A cross-sectional online survey was completed by 402 international students (54.5% first year; 49.5% male; mean age: 22.23 years, range 18-50). The survey measured well-being using the student version of the Smith Well-being (SWELL) questionnaire. A quality of student life questionnaire was also developed and this measured the university experience and benefits (e.g. life being easy and efficient; promotion of a healthy lifestyle; strengthening bonds, and feeling valued at university; the physical environment; and the impact of university life on learning and progress). Strategies that help studying away were assessed in a questionnaire measuring pre-departure planning, adapting to being away, planning the return home, and managing the transition from university to home. Results: The newly developed questionnaires were shown to be good measuring instruments (Cronbach alphas: Quality of university life scale: 0.79; Studying away strategies: 0.70; Positive well-being: 0.78; and Negative well-being: 0.73). Quality of student life was predicted by a healthy life-style, positive personality, few excessive demands, high control and the use of studying away strategies. Positive well-being was predicted by healthy life-style, positive personality, low demands, high control and a high quality of university life. Negative well-being was predicted by low levels of the same variables. Conclusion: Quality of student life was predicted by course characteristics, personality and the use of strategies to adapt to studying away from home. The quality of university life is one of the predictors of the general well-being of international students.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
ISSN: 2456-981X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 September 2018
Date of Acceptance: 19 August 2018
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2018 13:00
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/114540

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