What role do new digital media technologies play in facilitating international student connectedness to their home countries, families, and cultures? In this chapter, I report how digital media and connectedness to home are entangled in increasingly complex ways in the lives of international students today. Using ethnographic approaches that include picture diaries and semi-structured interviews, I collected in-depth accounts from over 20 international students about how media technologies have impacted their well-being, including their connectedness to home. Some of the themes discussed in this chapter include how they recreate and extend home environments through media technologies; how connections with family members and friends back home are maintained through digital media; how they shape identities through the narratives they tell using media; and how sometimes disconnectedness with home is an important factor for personal growth. In particular, I argue that the media ecologies of entertainment and communication technologies surrounding international students form a crucial part of their constitution of ‘home’ and familial relationships, as their sense of place becomes increasingly destabilised by their mobile contexts.
Wong, J. W. E. (2017). ‘So that she feels a part of my life’: How international students connect to home through digital media technologies. In Cultural Studies and Transdisciplinarity in Education (Vol. 6, pp. 115–135). Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-2601-0_7