Leaving Home: The Challenges of Black-African International Students Prior to Studying Overseas

  • Elizabeth Frances Caldwell University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom
  • Denis Hyams-Ssekasi University of Bolton, United Kingdom
Keywords: Black-African students, international students, adjustment, transition, inclusive education


Much of the literature on international students centres on their experiences once they arrive in their host countries. This study explores the preparations of Black-African students for leaving their home countries to study abroad. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 50 Black-African students studying at one British university. The students spoke of the complex and frustrating process of obtaining visas and applying to university abroad as well as the tensions they felt in leaving their communities. These pressures were extensive and impacted their subsequent ability to adjust to life in their host institution. A greater understanding of the backgrounds of international students will enable higher education professionals to develop more culturally inclusive universities.

Author Biographies

Elizabeth Frances Caldwell, University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom

ELIZABETH CALDWELL, Ph.D., is an Academic Skills Tutor at the University of Huddersfield, UK. She received her PhD from University College London and her current research centers around the theory and practice of Higher Education, including the experiences of international students studying abroad.

Denis Hyams-Ssekasi, University of Bolton, United Kingdom

DENIS HYAMS-SSEKASI Ed. D., is a Lecturer in Business Management at the University of Bolton, UK. His research interests include the transitional experiences of international students in Higher Education, as well as intercultural communication and social impacts. 

How to Cite
Caldwell, E. F., & Hyams-Ssekasi, D. (2016). Leaving Home: The Challenges of Black-African International Students Prior to Studying Overseas. Journal of International Students, 6(2), 588-613. Retrieved from https://www.ojed.org/index.php/jis/article/view/372
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