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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Education and desires in a transnational arena : Saudi Arabian students on the King Abdullah Scholarship Program in Western Canada Goodall, Jenna Lee


This dissertation is about the varying ways Saudi Arabian male students navigate the challenges of education abroad in Western Canada under the King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP). This research builds on a growing literature around international education and student mobilities, more specifically, it looks at how Saudi students navigate cultural, social, and gender differences, as well as expectations that they face during their time abroad and their return home. Drawing on qualitative ethnographic research methods, the findings indicate several main themes: the tensions around the celebration of global citizenship that underlines study abroad experiences and its limitations under the KASP; changing perceptions of gender and identity that intersect with masculine privilege; and geopolitical limitations in the face of evolving Canadian-Saudi antagonisms. This study anticipates that the personal narratives will add insight and understanding for faculty and teachers by shedding light on the various perspectives and meanings associated with student mobility for these Saudi males under the KASP. The difficulties separating the researchers’ own personal experience and knowledge of the subject matter is also addressed.

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