Chinese students studying at Australian universities with specific reference to nursing students: A narrative literature review
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Objective: To report the current knowledge on the Chinese nursing students' learning at Australian universities. The intent is to provide educators and researchers with a background to the contexts, the methodologies, the emphases of various relevant studies, and to provide recommendations for future research. Background: Attracting international students has become an important part of Australian universities' business and contributes to their cultural diversity. Teaching international students has received considerable attention in the educational research literature. Experiences of international students can vary greatly depending on their country of origin. This paper critically reviews current literature relating to issues for Chinese students and in particular, Chinese nursing students, the biggest single group of international nursing students at Australian universities. Design: Narrative literature review. Method: A comprehensive search of seven electronic databases for literature between 2003 and 2014 helped to identify qualitative and quantitative studies that addressed issues of Asian international students with English as a second language (ESL) (included nursing students) studying in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the United States and China. Pertinent websites were also searched. The reference lists and bibliographies of retrieved articles were hand- searched to identify other relevant studies. Results: Fifteen studies met the inclusion criteria for the review. The majority of existing literature claimed that there is a range of challenges confronting international students including Chinese nursing students, in assimilation into their host country. These include issues with English language proficiency, cultural barriers, social problems, different learning styles, academic demands, perceived racism, homesickness, lack of assertiveness and financial problems. Conclusion: There is limited research about the Chinese students' study in Australia. In particular, the learning experience of Chinese nursing students has not been fully explored nor understood. This paper highlights the need for further research into the lived learning experience of Chinese nursing students studying at Australian universities.