The transitional experiences of an international student facing chronic physical illness


  • Yaone Duduetsang Matsagopane Southwest University



Chronic physical illness, international student, reflective narrative, transitional experiences


This article illuminates the author’s transitional experiences during a chronic physical illness in China. Although many studies have considered patients’ chronic physical illnesses, few have considered international students’ experiences of chronic physical illness by means of the narrative approach. The author examines her chronic physical illness journey based on transitional experience and narrative identity theory. The narrative indicates a sense of identity, agency, and adaptation to change, and the exploration of such experiences could significantly contribute to the literature on students’ chronic physical health from a student’s perspective.

Author Biography

Yaone Duduetsang Matsagopane, Southwest University

Yaone Duduetsang Matsagopane, is a PhD candidate, in the Faculty of Education at Southwest University. Her major research interests lie in the area of educational leadership, health and well-being among students and African studies. Email:


Adler, J. M., Dunlop, W. L., Fıvush, R., Lilgendahl, J. P., Lodi‐Smith, J., McAdams, D. P., McLean, K. C., Pasupathi, M., & Syed, M. (2017). Research methods for studying Narrative Identity. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 8(5), 519–527. DOI:

Alavi, M., & Mansor, S. M. S. S. (2011). Categories of Problems among International Students in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 30, 1581–1587. DOI:

Beach, K. (1999). Chapter 4: Consequential Transitions: A Sociocultural Expedition beyond transfer in education. Review of Research in Education, 24(1), 101–139. DOI:

Bhatt, K. J., Schulder, T., Rudenstine, S., McNeal, K., Ettman, C. K., & Galea, S. (2023). Understanding the mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic among individuals with chronic illness. Psychological Reports, 003329412311643. DOI:

Biggs, J. (2003). Teaching international students. In Teaching for quality learning at university (2nd ed, pp. 120–139). Open University Press.

Clandinin, D. J., & Connelly, F. M. (2000). Narrative Inquiry: Experience and Story in Qualitative Research. Jossey-Bass.

Ecochard, S., & Fotheringham, J. (2017). International students’ unique challenges – Why understanding international transitions to higher education matters. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 5(2). DOI:

Forbes‐Mewett, H., & Sawyer, A. (2016). International Students and Mental health. Journal of International Students, 6(3), 661–677. DOI:

Gao, H., & De Wit, H. (2017). China and international student mobility. International Higher Education, 90, 3–5. DOI:

Gill, S. (2007). Overseas students’ intercultural adaptation as intercultural learning: a transformative framework. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 37(2), 167–183. DOI:

Iftikhar, S., Perceval, G., Fu, Y., Zhou, C., & Yong-Guo, C. (2022). Prevalence of mental health problems among stranded international students during the COVID-19 pandemic. BMC Psychology, 10(1). DOI:

Lave, J., & Wenger, É. (1991). Situated learning. DOI:

McAdams, D. P. (1995). What do we know when we know a person? Journal of Personality, 63(3), 365–396. DOI:

McAdams, D. P., & McLean, K. C. (2013). Narrative identity. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 22(3), 233–238. DOI:

McAdams, D. P., & Pals, J. L. (2006). A new Big Five: Fundamental principles for an integrative science of personality. American Psychologist, 61(3), 204–217. DOI:

McLean, K. C., Pasupathi, M., & Pals, J. L. (2007). Selves Creating stories Creating Selves: A process model of Self-Development. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 11(3), 262–278. DOI:

Mead, G. H. (1934). Mind, Self and society. Chicago University Press.

Revenson, T. A., & Hoyt, M. F. (2016). Chronic illness and mental health. In Elsevier eBooks (pp. 284–292). DOI:

Rogowsky, R. H., Laidlaw, A., & Ozakinci, G. (2020a). ‘Having come to university my care was very much in my hands’: exploration of university students’ perceptions of health care needs and services using the common-sense model of self-regulation. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 43(6), 943–955. DOI:

Харченко, А. В., Kharchenko, N., Макаренко, П., Sakharova, L. M., Khomenko, P. V., & Kvak, O. V. (2020). Statistical analysis of the сhronic gastritis in students. WiadomośCi Lekarskie (Warsaw Poland), 73(2), 360–364. DOI:




How to Cite

Matsagopane, Y. D. (2023). The transitional experiences of an international student facing chronic physical illness. Journal of International Students, 13(3), 512–520.