Exploring the Role of Hospitality in Aotearoa New Zealand Student Immigrants’ Experiences: Transitioning from International Students to Aotearoa New Zealand Residents/Citizens
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This thesis explores the role of hospitality in Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ) student immigrants’ experiences when transitioning from international students to NZ residents/citizens. The international education sector is NZ’s fifth-largest export earner (New Zealand Education, 2019) and student immigration is a key part of the ongoing development of both the tertiary education sector and general NZ economy. Given the importance of the international education sector in NZ, it is important to obtain a broad understanding of student immigrants’ experiences. By using a hospitality framework to analyse student immigrant experiences, this thesis meets the calls from the literature to focus on student immigrants as a differentiated group from general immigrants, and to expand on how hospitality can be used to understand society. This thesis fills a research gap by applying hospitality as a lens to analyse student immigrant life in NZ by discussing previously underexplored experiences of student immigrants in NZ. The thesis is also an expression of my personal experience when undertaking the journey of an international student to a full citizen. The aim of this thesis is to apply a hospitality lens to student immigrant experiences in NZ. Three research objectives were formulated to achieve this aim: 1. To explore the role of hospitality in student immigrants’ transition experiences. 2. To identify the scope of ‘polarity relationship’ in student immigrants’ transition experiences. 3. To identify the range of ‘transgressing hospitality’ in student immigrants’ transition experiences. This thesis uses an interpretive paradigm based on a qualitative methodology. Twelve face-to-face semi-structured interviews were analysed using thematic analysis to produce the research findings. Participants for the interviews were recruited using snowball and purposive sampling approaches. Key findings from this thesis include a deeper and more complex understanding of why student immigrants come to NZ—a clear divergence from previous literature that emphasises a quest for permanent residency. In addition, the exploration of the objectives have produced a ‘hospitality transition model’ that allows for complex and nuanced findings around the movement of student immigrants from ‘outsider’ to citizen. This thesis not only contributes to the literature by offering a new understating of the role of hospitality in NZ, but also contributes to, and expands on, knowledge regarding hospitality theory and migration.