The Perception of Friendship Formation: A Comparative Study of Tertiary Students in New Zealand and China

By Geyang Zhou, Franco Vaccarino and Emma Dresler-Hawke.

Published by The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 1, 2014 $US5.00

Intercultural friendship is believed to facilitate the social and academic adjustments of international students and enhance cultural understanding and learning of both international and domestic students. Several studies have identified the difficulties in intercultural friendship experiences of international students. In a multi-phase international project, friendship formation of tertiary students from the perspective of the domestic students is examined. The cultural understanding of the notion of a friend and the perceived benefits and barriers in forming friendships across cultures are explored through a self-administered questionnaire in two separate samples of domestic students in New Zealand and in China. The results indicate some similarities as well as common barriers perceived by the two student groups in friendship formation with international students, which highlight the overall preference of intracultural friendship over intercultural friendship. Notions of a friend and the perceived benefits of having friends from a different culture yielded significant differences. The key implications of cross-cultural friendship formation are highlighted and future research directions are presented.

Keywords: Intercultural Friendship, Friendship Formation, Cross-Cultural, Intracultural, New Zealand, China

The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities, Volume 20, Issue 4, August 2014, pp.29-41. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 1, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 561.025KB)).

Dr Geyang Zhou

Associate Professor, Northeast Normal University, Changchung, Jilin, China

Dr. Franco Vaccarino

Senior Lecturer, School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University, Palmerston North, Manawatu, New Zealand

Dr. Emma Dresler-Hawke

Senior Lecturer, School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University, Palmerston North, Manawatu, New Zealand