Chinese International Students’ Understanding of Career and Attitudes toward Career Counselling Services

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Wang, Yina
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Following the policy to globalize Canadian higher education, the demographics on Canadian campuses are internationalized. Chinese international students account for 23% of full-time visa students in Canadian universities. Although career related issues are of major concern for Chinese international students who want to stay in Canada or plan to return to China, studies about their career needs and attitudes towards career counselling are limited. Existing research tends to ignore the dynamic social and economic changes occurring in China and treats Chinese international students as if they were a homogenous group. This research is situated in the premise of social constructionism which emphasizes the importance of social processes, interactions and the centrality of language in the production of knowledge. Eight Chinese international students who were in the senior year of their undergraduate studies in Halifax, Canada were selected to participate in in-depth, semi-structured interviews. Eight themes emerged from the interview data such as, multiple comprehensions of the meaning of career versus job and work; contextualized motivations involved in career planning; less dominant parental roles and growing independent decision making and so on. The research shows that social constructionism provides new perspectives for cross-cultural studies by revealing multiple truths and interrelated contingencies involved in examining career related issues and exploring cross-cultural differences. The study has implications for career counselling and higher education.
Public opinion , Foreign students , Information services , China , Attitudes , Vocational guidance , Nova Scotia , College students , Employment , Canada