RESEARCHING INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS’ EXPERIENCES OF HIGHER EDUCATION: THE CASE FOR NARRATIVE INQUIRY

C. Savvidou

University of Nicosia (CYPRUS)
In the last decade, the growing use of narratives in educational research has enabled researchers to view education from the perspective of students and teachers. In this paper, I make the case for narrative inquiry as a research methodology that has the potential to highlight the experiences, attitudes and beliefs of international students. The three examples presented in this paper draw on narratives collected over the course of a semester from international students in a higher educational institution. Narrative analysis remains a contested area of research; however, through a process of deconstruction, I interrogate the text exposing tensions in the way the story is told, what is included and what is excluded. The paper concludes that by employing narrative strategies such as dichotomy, silence and contradiction, international students narrate accounts which offer a unique insight into their lives and enhance more traditional qualitative research methods.