Developing intercultural citizenship in a study abroad context: Voices of international postgraduate students in Britain

Anas Hajar, Ali Ait Si Mhamed

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter documents seven Kazakhstani postgraduate students’ study abroad experiences to discover whether and to what extent they were able to develop intercultural citizenship after their one-year stay in the UK. Intercultural citizenship refers to ‘the extension of citizenship beyond national borders, through recognition of the global scale of social relations, the need to respect and value diversity, and participation in and responsibility to communities at multiple levels from the local to the global’ (Baker & Fang, 2020, p. 3). The qualitative data revealed that the time away from Kazakhstan, combined with the experience of contact with other nationalities, enabled many participants to look at Kazakhstan and its culture more objectively. This increased objectivity resulted in them developing greater tolerance of cultural differences, respecting different opinions (e.g., attitudes toward LGBT individuals) and learning to be comfortable in multicultural environments. Nevertheless, some participants articulated limitations to their ability to develop their intercultural citizenship, including their attempts to match idealised ‘native speaker’ norms and experiencing racism based on their usage of English and presumed ethnicity. This chapter concludes by stressing the need for intercultural interventions in all phases of study abroad to foster and cultivate students’ sense of intercultural citizenship.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReimagining Mobility in Higher Education For The Future Generations of International Students
EditorsChris R. Glass, Krishna Bista
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Intercultural citizenship
  • Internationalisation of higher education
  • Study abroad
  • Kazakhstani postgraduate students
  • A qualitative inquiry


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