Waikato Journal of Education
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Keywords

intercultural
Omani students
international students
host-national students
New Zealand

Abstract

This is a qualitative study that explored the experiences of friendship formation of Omani international students at a university in New Zealand. Semi-structured interviews were employed to collect data from 12 Omani participants and data were analysed using thematic analysis. Utilising Bochner et al.’s (1977) Functional Model, the study found that Omani students were generally satisfied with how they were developing friendships with co-national and international students but revealed dissatisfaction concerning forming friendships with New Zealand students. The perceptions of Omani students revealed six factors that influenced their formation of intercultural friendships: (1) willingness to establish intercultural friendships, (2) frequent communication and social interaction, (3) English language proficiency, (4) capability to engage with host nationals, (5) cultural differences, and (6) personality traits. The data suggest that host-national contact is lacking and that international students prefer to contact co-national and multinational friends, which indicates that highly supportive co-national and international social ties significantly predominate. Higher-education providers in New Zealand and receiving countries addressing one cohort of international students will find these findings particularly useful.

https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v27i3.915
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