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dc.contributor.authorAlmuarik, Gadah Sulaiman-
dc.descriptionPhD Thesisen_US
dc.description.abstractThis doctoral thesis provides a longitudinal, qualitative examination of the ‘Repatriation Experience’ of eight Saudi Postgraduate students upon their return to their home country. It seeks to make a contribution to current knowledge by exploring the impact of the experience of studying abroad on these individuals who spent between four and eight years pursuing their studies in the United Kingdom (UK). The research has a specific focus on the challenges these individuals may have faced and whether there had been any need for readjustment upon their return. Moreover, this thesis considers the changes that the participants had introduced to their worldviews, identifications and practices including, but not limited to, their language behaviour as a result of their overall study abroad experience and provides an indication of the degree of personal growth resulting from it, supporting Kim’s (2001) findings on the benefits of becoming intercultural. Despite the large number of Saudi students studying abroad, all of whom constitute potential ‘eventual returnees’, repatriation remains an under-researched area in the context of Saudi Arabia. There is a demonstrable lack of qualitative research on issues relating to adjustment after re-entry (Martin, 1984), with few longitudinal studies (e.g. Martin, et al., 1995; Thomas, 2009; Pitts, 2016). By conducting in-depth qualitative interviews, this study comprehensively revisited the social, psychological, professional and linguistic issues associated with this type of transition. A further area of interest dealt with in the research was the strategies utilised by the returnees to deal with the return-home experience to overcome any challenges they encountered during and after their return. Data collection took place over a period of 12 months and covered three phases. In Phase Ⅰ, participants’ expectations about their return and feelings about home were explored. The second interview focused on participants’ experiences after returning home and how they actually felt about being there in terms of how they perceived different aspects of life in Saudi Arabia. This analysis included whether their feelings had influenced their readjustment to major aspects of daily life such as professional life, family relationships, social activities, language behaviour and overall wellbeing. In the third interview, participants were asked to comment on what appeared to have changed for them since the second interview and emerging ideas were followed up. In addition, participants were encouraged to provide any recommendations or tips they felt necessary for those currently experiencing, or about to undergo, this kind of transition. By using Thematic Analysis informed by Grounded Theory procedures, findings revealed different aspects of the repatriation experience. Psychological and sociocultural aspects of the return were interwoven, supporting the ‘spill-over’ and ‘cross-over’ factors and their effects on returnees’ readjustment. Besides iii addressing a methodological gap in the literature, the study also considered whether there were any gender-related differences or commonalities in the repatriation experience. Although participants experienced the return in different ways, certain issues stand out as being common, especially during the first few months of the return supporting previous findings. Finally, the study suggests that two models of cross-cultural adaptation i.e. The Transition Model (Bennett, 1998) and The Stress-Adaptation-Growth Model (Kim, 2001; Kim, 2005) appear to be the most relevant in explaining the repatriation experience of these individuals.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipAbdulrahman Bin Faisal Universityen_US
dc.publisherNewcastle Universityen_US
dc.titleA qualitative study of Saudi PhD returnees' readjustment experience : their perceptions and impressionsen_US
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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