This study intends to use interviews as a major tool for data collection. Two interviews will be conducted, one at the beginning of the academic year and one at the end. A population of ten Chinese students (six male and four females) who have registered for courses commencing September 2011 will be selected for the exercise from across the selected university in southern England. It has been found necessary to use students from the same nationality to de homogenize the student experience that is the loci of this study. Students from China have been particularly selected because of the unmatched increase of enrollment in the UK universities which calls for a need to understand their experience.
This kind of research has been selected since it is structurally manageable and more flexible (Legard et al. 2003). This kind of interview is viewed as an exchange in which the researcher asks questions in a manner that allows the respondents to respond to their own terms.
A balanced mix of strategies to recruit interviewees will be considered. The most prominent of which will be the circulation of leaflets will be circulated at the beginning of the semester during the international students’ orientation period.
The initial interview will focus on the students’ background and the inspiration for studying a broad, the initial social setting and networks and the students’ identity. The final interview will facilitate the comparison of the cultural situation and adjustment between the beginning and the end of the academic year.
In addition to interviews, participant observation will be conducted throughout the academic year. Examples of observation sites include the library, class rooms, student centre, social events etc. Preliminary analysis which will involve coding will start soon after the initial interview and a few rounds of observation. This is important as it conceptualizes underlying patterns of empirical indicators (mason 2002).
The inductive method is to be adopted. Once the emerging topics have been clarified, literature is to be collected but not read so as not to influence the subsequent interviews. After the final interview, literature will be reviewed and relationships established between primary and secondary data.
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