Exploring research cultures through internationalization at home for doctoral students in Hong Kong and Sweden

Doris Y Leung, Elisabeth Carlson, Enid E.Y. Kwong, Ewa Idvall, Christine Kumlien

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Cultural skills are fundamental to developing global academic scholars. Internationalization at home can facilitate the acquisition of these skills without students having to go abroad. However, research on the effect of internationalization of higher education is scarce, despite apparent benefits to incorporating cultural sensitivity in research. Further, little is known about the role information and communication technology plays. In this pilot study, we describe the experience of doctoral students with an internationalization-at-home program, and its impact on developing an understanding about different research cultures. Eight doctoral nursing students from Sweden and Hong Kong participated in five webinars as “critical friends”. The study followed a descriptive, qualitative design. The results demonstrated that students observed cultural differences in others' research training programs. However, while cultural differences reinforced friendship among local peers, they challenged engagement with critical friends. Challenges led to the perception of one another not as critical friends but as “distant” friends. We discuss the possible reasons for these outcomes, and emphasize a need to nurture connectivity and common goals. This would prepare students to identify, translate, and recognize cultural differences to help develop knowledge of diverse research cultures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-531
Number of pages7
JournalNursing and Health Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • communication technology
  • culture
  • higher education
  • internationalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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