An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis of Chinese Students’ Satisfaction with Postgraduate University Study and Life in New Zealand
Chinese students are one of the largest groups of international students studying in New Zealand. The wellbeing of Chinese students in the New Zealand educational context has aroused interest from educators from both China and New Zealand. This research explores the satisfaction of Chinese students from a cultural perspective. It adopts an interpretive phenomenological approach to investigate Chinese students’ definitions of satisfaction and the role of Chinese culture values, particularly, renqing, guanxi, mianzi in influencing their experience of satisfaction while they living and studying in New Zealand. Data were collected through six in-depth interviews with Chinese postgraduate students at one university. Based their experience studying and living in New Zealand, most of the participants reported very individualized understandings of the term “satisfaction”, They also, described their experiences of adjustments in living and learning, their mismatched expectations and how their life attitudes had affected their experience in New Zealand. While the students do not explicitly acknowledge Chinese values, their influence can be seen in the way the students experience satisfaction with their study in New Zealand. This has implications for institutions in New Zealand as these insights have a potential to inform practices to support these students.