Volume 25, 2014
Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth Annual Meeting
Wan Noraini Wan Mansor, Steven L. Grover, Paula O’Kane
Voices of the Neglected Society: Do They Need to Be Entertained or Ignored?
This study focuses on the transitional living experience of the partners of international Doctoral of Philosophy (PhD) students. This population has received very little research attention despite the prevalence of international education, and it is particularly relevant because these trailing partners often experience the double
whammy of significant status change from worker to homemaker coupled with landing in a foreign culture. Qualitative interviews with 30 international PhD student couples (60 people) identified three core cross-cultural challenges: situational living hardships, multiple roles demand and mid-career switch. Trailing partners need living, employment and academic support to enhance their transitional living experience. Thus, the study provokes the urgency for relevant stakeholders to proactively assist them to enjoy a pleasant and successful settling-in experience abroad.