Study Abroad Experience and Career Decision-Making: A Qualitative Study of Chinese Students

Abstract

This research explores factors influencing Chinese overseas students' career decision-making. Based on the social cognitive career theory, a semi-structured interview schedule was devised to qualitatively investigate how Chinese students evaluated different factors and coped with career decision-making while studying abroad. The interview transcripts were addressed using thematic analysis. Family influences, overseas social life, and personal improvement were found to be the three key factors in shaping Chinese overseas students' career decision-making. Moreover, close interconnections were found among the three factors, and these had a combined impact on the decision-making process. The findings highlight the importance of a positive study abroad experience and its impact on international students' career decision-making.

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Correspondence to Yihan Wu.

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Wu, Y. Study Abroad Experience and Career Decision-Making: A Qualitative Study of Chinese Students. Front Educ China 15, 313–331 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11516-020-0014-8

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Keywords

  • career decision-making
  • study abroad experience
  • thematic analysis
  • social cognitive career theory
  • Chinese students