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Life satisfaction among inbound university students in northern Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7352-9971
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Rehabilitation Medicine.
2019 (English)In: Fennia, E-ISSN 1798-5617, Vol. 197, no 1, p. 94-107Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Will life satisfaction among international students change after having an experience of studying abroad? Some previous studies indicate inequalities and issues of social mobility embedded in international student mobility. International student mobility implies physical movement and new experiences gained while studying abroad. The ubiquity of international students and their generally successful adaptation makes it necessary to understand how they manage to turn a seemingly difficult situation into satisfying adaptation. One area of such concern that this study sought to explore was the students’ level of satisfaction with life. This study investigated the self-reported life satisfaction of inbound university students upon arrival to a university in northern Sweden and at follow-up six months later. After the study period abroad, the students’ levels of perceived satisfaction with their somatic health and activities of daily living had significantly increased. Higher levels, while non-significant, were found for the domains life as a whole, study situation and economy. These findings may indicate that studying abroad could have an impact on students’ reported life satisfaction, which highlights the value of a period of studying abroad. However, when exploring life satisfaction outcomes among internationally mobile students, it seems pertinent to study student mobility within a context. This study mostly targets international student mobility in a Western/European contex

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Geographical Society of Finland , 2019. Vol. 197, no 1, p. 94-107
Keywords [en]
Student mobility, life satisfaction, inbound students
Keywords [sv]
Studentmobilitet, livstillfredsställelse, inresande studenter
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-158277DOI: 10.11143/fennia.70337ISI: 000466176600007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-158277DiVA, id: diva2:1305778
Available from: 2019-04-18 Created: 2019-04-18 Last updated: 2019-06-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Studying abroad: exploring mobility, expectations and experiences among mobile students
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Studying abroad: exploring mobility, expectations and experiences among mobile students
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis deals with the experiences and outcomes of temporarily studying abroad, via follow-up studies, aiming to explore international student mobility with a focus on the individual’s perspective. The specific research questions, dealing with the individual students’ expectations and experiences, are addressed in three papers. The fourth paper is a framing of these studies, using results from a global study.

The first research question connects to the attractiveness of international study experiences: Q1. What are the individual’s expectations for studying abroad, among inbound and outbound students, and what are the students’ reported experiences compared with these expectations? The second research question connects to the mobility culture of youth: Q2. Does students’ reported life satisfaction change in any way after studying abroad?

A main finding for outbound students was an appreciation of courses offered at the destination higher education institution that were not available at Umeå University. The students also had a desire to change their environment and have new experiences. Conversely, the desire to work abroad in the future was lower after returning home. A major finding for inbound students was that they assigned higher value to personal development than academic development. The experience made the students positive in regard to working abroad. Inbound students reported significantly higher satisfaction at follow-up six months later for the domains somatic health and activities of daily living. For both in- and outbound students, experiencing a new culture was more important than pure academic experiences.When the experience was compared with the expectation, in most cases the outcomes were positively related for both in- and outbound students. The motives for international study were primarily related to personal achievements, indicating a fulfilment of one’s potential and curiosity about a sojourn abroad.

Finally, the results from the Umeå studies were compared with a global survey. The Umeå studies shows that the respondents viewed studying abroad as an important experience and as a merit later in life. The global survey results indicate that the transition from education to the world of work is of increasing importance to students, and that it matters more for non-European students. The global study showed that employability, teaching ability, expert lectures, and course organization are important to international students.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Geografiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, 2019. p. 70
Series
GERUM, ISSN 1402-5205 ; 2019:2
Keywords
student mobility, inbound, outbound, exchange students, Sweden
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-159036 (URN)978-91-7855-040-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-06-14, S213H, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-05-24 Created: 2019-05-17 Last updated: 2019-05-27Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson, Per A.Stålnacke, Britt-Marie

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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