Journal of Internatio o onal Students s

Book Rev view Understan nding the Inte ernational Stu udent Experie ence by Catherine Montgomery (2010). Palg e y grave Macmil llan, February 2010, £22.99 5 (UK), $27 (US), 9. 7.05 s 1-4039-8619-1 224 pages ISBN: 978-1 Reviewed by Krishna Bista, Arkansa State University d B as

Fall 2011 Issue I Vol. 2 I,
ain or d ot ma barrier fo educators, teachers and staff for no und derstanding foreign stude ents and the needs and eir d issu ues. Montgo omery is an outsider who has offered o d aut thentic and r realistic resea arch portraya of foreign als n stu udents carried at a universi in the Uni d ity ited Kingdom m. Th is due to f his fact that mos of the exis st sting literature and research on foreign students are carried by d e y ins siders, intern national scholars. Through several in ndep pth field ob bservations and intervie ews collected d dur ring six mon she concl nth, ludes that for reign students are matured, mo e otivated and p prepared to st tudy and value the experience of earning de e egrees overse Her study eas. y cha allenges conventional thinking ab bout foreign n stu udents as they are slow le y earners with poor English h, lim mited class-pa articipation sk kills and inab bility to think k crit tically. She a acknowledges the valu s ues of the edu ucational bac ckgrounds an cultural i nd identities tha at inte ernational stu udents bring t the United Kingdom and to d dem monstrates ho eager they are to layer new learning ow y r g exp periences and new identities on top of h d home cultures s. As a result of h research, Montgomery explores the s her y cro oss-cultural experience which prep pares foreign n stu udents and their educa ators to live and work e k pro oductively any ywhere in the world. e Montgo omery's book can educate scholars and k e d sta aff of inter rnational st tudents about the rea al exp periences of overseas stu udents. In h qualitative her res search, she i included sev ven students from China a, Ind dia, Nepal, I Indonesia, It taly and the Netherlands s. Mo ontgomery is unflinchin of her a ng assessment of o for reign student experienc with rich and recen ts' ces h nt rev views of ex xisting litera ature. She h has added a pos stscript for "a broader an more critic awareness nd cal and understand d ding of the social con e ntext of the trav velling stud dent" (p. 14 44). Her bo ook prepares tea achers, studen and supp nts port staff in the Office of o Int ternal Progra ams to under rstand severa unresolved al d issu of inter ues rnational stud dents, includ ding language pro oficiencies, m mediocre finan nces, sub-stan ndard housing g, lon neliness and racism in t the institutio ons of highe er edu ucation. Und derstanding the Internati ional Studen nt Exp perience sa atisfies an academic audience of o inte ernational ed ducation, and encourages both insiders d and outsiders t share their perspective and critica d to r es al fra ameworks o of policyma akers, pract titioners and d edu ucators who directly an indirectly work with o nd y h inte ernational stu udents in the w world.
Kri ishna Bista is t founder of the Journal of International the Stu udents. His e-m is Krishna. mail

Catherine Mo C ontgomery ha depicted a clear as picture of how intern f national stude ents encounte both er social and cultural, academic dif a fferences and learn d positively as a result of cross-cultural exper y riences while stu udying as abroad sojou a urns in her book, Understan nding the International Student Expe S erience. She has established a strong relatio e onship with foreign f students who pursue higher educa w ation oversea with as home cult tures, languag and learn ges, ning backgrou unds. Montgomery has examined social facto and M h d ors learning environmen nts of inte ernational st tudents because she believes "learning take place in co s " es ontexts beyond th classroom and beyond university wa he u alls" (p. xiii). Thro ough the lense of construc es ctivist approa she ach, conceives that intern s national stud dents establi ish an authentic meaning of their learnin from thei own f ng ir perspectiv as being embedded in social and cultural ves n c contexts. She addresses the dichotom of the cul my lture of n ducation as "East" internationalization in higher ed versus "W West" and cu ultural perspe ectives of stu udents, faculty an internation student ad nd nal dvisors as "in nsiders" and "outsi iders". With a sup W pportive cam mpus netwo ork or communit of intern ty national stud dents, Montg gomery firmly bel lieves that stu udents and ed ducators of ov verseas students can develop meaning gful cross-c cultural experienc ces. She dissects exi d isting stereo otypes, assumptio and bias of foreign students and their ons s d cultures from an outsi f ider perspect tive. Lack of crossf cultural experience, ac e ccording to Montgomery, is the M , ISSN-2162-3 3104


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