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“Because of the Christian Fellowship, I Decided to Stay”: How Participating in a Christian Community Shapes the Social Experiences of Chinese International Students

1
Department of Education Policy Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
2
Department of Learning and Performance Systems, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(8), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8080234
Received: 29 June 2019 / Revised: 29 July 2019 / Accepted: 3 August 2019 / Published: 7 August 2019
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PDF [244 KB, uploaded 7 August 2019]

Abstract

This ethnographic study examines how participation in a Christian church community shapes Chinese international undergraduate students’ social experiences in an American university. Our findings reveal that Chinese international undergraduate students identify the church and its fellowship as (1) a social support community and (2) an informal learning community, one which fills in the gap in counseling services and interpersonal activities that the university fails to offer. Recommendations are made for higher education institutions to provide stronger support for international students, regardless of their nationalities and religions. View Full-Text
Keywords: Chinese international students; Christianity; higher education; religious community Chinese international students; Christianity; higher education; religious community
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Li, A.; Nguyen, C.; Choi, J. “Because of the Christian Fellowship, I Decided to Stay”: How Participating in a Christian Community Shapes the Social Experiences of Chinese International Students. Soc. Sci. 2019, 8, 234.

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