Greetings from grey and rainy Oxford…
Last month, I wrote a post about a conference paper I had accepted and am now preparing. You can read the post again at the bottom of this story.
Since then, I have been doing my literature review and developing a survey to collect data for my paper. The literature review has been fun but at the same time challenging. To my knowledge, this is the first research into study abroad by Tajik nationals, so there is nothing written about this area. I’ve been looking at broader Central Asian educational literature (very little available) as well as comparative studies. This found me investigating research that has been done about study abroad tendencies in countries from Norway to Hong Kong!
Today I’ve launched the survey, a short questionnaire that is aimed at Tajik nationals who have studied or are studying abroad. Please help me raise awareness of the survey by sending the link to anyone you know who might be eligible, posting it on your Facebook/V kontakte/Linked In/Twitter etc etc profile — and completing it yourself if you are eligible!
The survey is at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dDRsd2V1UkdJRW1qX3JRcTRvT0EyTmc6MQ and is open until 20 January 2012.
I would love to get 50 or more responses to the survey. That may not sound like much, but firstly, this is a small-scale study that has to be written up by March 2012, so I don’t have much time. Secondly, the number of Tajik nationals studying abroad in the medium of English each year is probably around 500 (based on UNESCO statistics for 2009) so if 50 people complete the survey that would be around 10% of the annual total, a sizeable proportion for such a small study.
Thank you in advance for your help!
And may I take the opportunity of today’s post to wish you all a very merry Christmas and all best wishes for the New Year:
Why study abroad?
(Post from 8 November 2011; for the original version click here)
I’ve just had a conference paper proposal accepted and so have been thinking in some detail about study abroad, the subject of my paper. The conference is called ‘Micro-level analysis of well-being in Central Asia’ and will be held at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin next May.
My paper will be looking at the impact of studying abroad on the well-being of Tajik nationals. ‘Well-being’ can be defined both as an ambition to make one’s life better, as well as the steps a person takes to help them achieve their ambition.
My interest in study abroad tendencies has two roots:
- In particular, from observing study abroad motivations and trends, as well as the impact studying abroad has on colleagues and friends from Central Asia;
- More generally, from working with international students at universities in London and Oxford.
So when I found out about the conference it seemed like a great opportunity to explore study abroad in more detail. I will shortly start doing interviews to examine the lifecycle of the educational experience:
- Motivations for study abroad
- Prior to departure, perceptions of the impact of study abroad on well-being
- Experiences gained whilst studying abroad (e.g. process of studying, living in and adapting to a new country)
- Post-study abroad decisions: do students return to Tajikistan? Why/why not? What qualities/experience/skills/values do they take from their experience of studying abroad and how does this impact on and change their level of well-being?
- The impact and perceptions of the educational experience of individuals for their families and communities
If you are from Tajikistan and you are studying abroad now, or have studied abroad, and would like to be interviewed for this study, I’d love to hear from you! Please leave me a comment here, or contact me via Facebook or LinkedIn.
I’ll be posting occasional updates on my study as it progresses. If you’d like to discuss any aspect of it in more detail, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.