Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format



Master of Arts




Li, Jun


In this study, I explore the learning experiences of Chinese-origin undergraduate who completed an international exchange programs in Canada. Specifically, I use transformative learning theory and J.W. Berry’s (1987; 1997; 2006; 2008) acculturation model to examine how Chinese undergraduate students interpreted their learning experiences and how these learning experiences may have altered their perspectives and practices. I applied an interpretivist qualitative case study by collecting data from semi-structured interviews with six female Chinese-origin undergraduate students after the completion of their exchange program. in Canadian HEIs provides me insights into their learning experiences. The findings show that despite experiencing some challenges and acculturative stress, the participants generally rated their exchange opportunity as an excellent overall experience. The students reported transformative learning experiences, and generally adapted well to Canadian culture. This study concludes with wider implications for future exchange students, program developers, and policy makers in maximizing potential benefits of these international exchange programs in Canada.

Summary for Lay Audience

International exchange programs are increasingly vital for higher education institutions seeking to highlight their internationalization efforts. This study explores learning experiences of six Chinese exchange students in Canada. I conducted interviews with six participants who shared insights regarding critical learning opportunities, cultural observations, personal changes following the completion of the exchange, and overall reflections on their experiences. The findings suggest that although the participants all encountered gaps in their learning and some academic challenges during their exchange, they nevertheless enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to study in Canada. Their interviews provide further suggestions for future exchange students and program developers.