The extent of social engagement with the local community is closely related to international students’ socio-cultural and psychological well-being, but the relevant literature shows that most students have inadequate or poor engagement with the host society. This study, in the context of a university in an Australian regional area, examines various factors related to these students’ engagement with the local community and society. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected respectively by questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. The findings show that cultural differences, inadequate language competency, intercultural understanding, religion, psychological worries, and racial discrimination are six salient barriers obstructing international students’ positive and effective social interaction. The limited contact with the local community is significantly associated with the international students’ negative emotions, including homesickness, loneliness, anxiety and depression; and demographic factors such as age and gender are not significantly related to their social engagement, but length of stay and English proficiency in the host country have a significant impact.
|Keywords:||Social Well-being, Racial Discrimination, Acculturation, International Students|
PhD Graduate, Department of Rural Health, Launceston, TAS, Australia
Senior Lecturer, Department of Rural Health, Univeresity of Tasmania, Launceston, TAS, Australia