This thesis is an ethnographic study of a group of Chinese postgraduate students in a British university as they become adjusted to the culture of teaching and learning in the new learning environment during their first year of overseas study. It focuses on these Chinese students’ initial perceptions of British teaching and learning practices compared with their inherited culture of learning and how they make adjustments, emotionally, cognitively, and behaviourally, in order to make their learning successful, with the result of changes and developments in their conceptions and beliefs about knowing and learning. The present study seeks to draw together understanding from the fields of intercultural adaptation theories, tertiary students’ conceptions of learning research, and the interface of culture and learning, i.e. cultures of learning, to explore the impact of studying abroad on students’ intellectual development and personal growth so as to inform international and intercultural education
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