Working paper title
International students in Australia: Friendship networks, mental health issues and communication
The number of international students studying abroad is steadily increasing around the world, and the challenges they face have been the focus of numerous studies. Previous research has focused on either the friendship networks of these international students or their physiological and psychological experiences. Little has been said about the relationship between these two areas, namely which friendship networks international students join and which networks they chose to communicate with in moments of physical or mental distress. This research paper attempts to fill this gap, by examining pre-existing literature and then discussing the findings of an online survey created for this paper. This survey examined the friendship networks and communicative patterns of current international students in Australia. The results of the survey did not support previous research. In this study, participants claimed to communicate more frequently with their multi-cultural network than their co-national network, and reported that they experienced little stigma with regards to the sharing of negative emotions. However, the survey had several shortcomings that may have influenced its results. These shortcomings are discussed before areas for further research are highlighted.