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Female graduate students, First generation, International students, Intersectional analysis, Narrative inquiry;South Asian


James Oloo



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


This study was influenced by my own experience as a first-generation South Asian female international graduate student in Canada. As I reflected on my experiences as part of an assignment for one of my Master of Education courses, I became interested in experiences of others who have followed a similar path. Namely, first-generation female international graduate students from South Asia. A literature searches of education databases at the University of Windsor Leddy Library led me to the conclusion that while several studies have examined experiences of international students in Canadian post secondary institutions (Chataway & Berry, 1989; De Moissac et al., 2020; Oloo, 2022; Pidgeon & Andres, 2005), there is a gap in research that relate specifically to experiences of first-generation South Asian female international graduate students in Canada. Grounded in the community cultural wealth (CCW) theoretical model (Yosso, 2005), this narrative inquiry employs semi-structured interviews as conversations to explore experiences of six study participants. Intersectional and thematic analysis of participant narratives resulted in 13 “inductively” identified themes which emerged from the data itself in the domains of Opportunities, Challenges, and Overcoming Challenges. And six “deductively” identified themes which mapped onto the six domains of the CCW model that were identified in the participant narratives.

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