International students' home culture's influence on learning and their learning model: The reflection

Author: Amir Amrullah

International Students’ Home Culture’s Influence on Learning and Their Learning Model: The Reflection

Amiruddin Amrullah
23 July 2020

Amrullah, A. (2020). International Students’ Home Culture’s Influence on Learning and Their Learning Model: The Reflection. A thesis submitted in conformity with the requirements for the degree of Master of Professional Practice [PDF 1.7MB]

Executive Summary

The thesis is exploring international students’ ability to adapt and solving their learning problem and the influence of international students' home cultures and learning to their success in studying in Auckland, New Zealand. The international students’ learning model was also explored which was abstracted from the interview. My reflection and learning model also presented and analysed then compared with the participants (the international students).

The research uses a qualitative approach method to investigate the impact of culture and learning of international students for the success of their study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five international students. The participants were asked more or less the same questions; comparisons across the interview responses were possible. I was using Korthagen’s onion model of reflection consisting six layers as the basis of my research interview questions – environment, behaviour, competencies, beliefs, identity, and mission (Korthagen & Vasalos, 2005).

The findings revealed that the majority of participants felt culture shock in the beginning, but then they manage to solve the problem by reflecting, observing, asking questions, and learning harder. Pre arrival preparation also played an essential role in studying abroad, the better they prepared the quicker they recovered from the shock. The research also found – abstracted from the interview - the ideal learning situation according to the participants i.e. self-motivation, supporting the environment, understanding the purpose of learning, interactive learning, students engaging in different activities, and an inspiring teacher or lecturer. The participants’ model of learning was drawn out from their responses through their reflection on what they had done to solve their problem in learning. Finally, a model of teaching quality improvement is presented which is extracted from the research project and referring to some experiential learning theories.

Key words: Reflection; Experiential Learning; Culture Based Learning; Professional Development; Self-Reflection; Learning Model.


This thesis is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International.

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