1st Edition

Parallel Societies of International Students in Australia Connections, Disconnections, and a Global Pandemic

By Catherine Gomes Copyright 2022
    142 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Parallel Societies of International Students in Australia explores the social and cultural spaces that international students occupy in destination countries. It specifically examines the connections they make and the significance of this parallel society in helping them become resilient, empowered and self-sufficient. It further explores the way in which international students become disconnected from the family and friends they left behind at home, as well as from local communities.

    Drawing on a decade worth of research into the social, cultural, real and digital spaces occupied by international students in Australia, the book also reflects on the biggest challenge humanity has faced in a hundred years; the COVID-19 global pandemic. It considers the impact that the decisions made by the Australian government and international education stakeholders in response to this evolving crisis have had on international students. ​

    This book will be of interest to academics and stakeholders involved in international education and working with international students.

    Prologue. 1. International student parallel societies and why they matter 2 Connections 3. Disconnections 4. Expectations, Misconceptions and Misunderstandings 5.A Crisis of Pandemic Proportions. Appendix.


    Catherine Gomes is Associate Professor in the School of Media and Communication, RMIT University. Catherine’s work contributes to the understanding of the evolving migration, mobility and digital media nexus. Catherine specialises on the social, cultural and communication spaces of international students, their wellbeing and their digital engagements. 

    "A must-read book in the field! Dr. Gomes argues an innovative perspective on how international students as ambassadors of both sending and receiving countries create parallel societies---a humane world that includes multiple cultures, languages, and social values for understanding the global issues and challenges including COVID-19, climate change, public health, and human rights and access to justice. This book is certainly an important contribution to global student mobility and international education in particular."

    Krishna Bista, Professor, Community College Leadership, Morgan State University

    "This book is a timely and much needed contribution to the growing body of literature on international students and in particular to discussions about policy, practice and the belonging of international students in the host communities. The book takes a unique angle to examining the experiences of international students by its theorising and analysing of the transiently constructed parallel societies in which international students are situated. The book is a nicely articulated text with five chapters coherently knit together to illuminate our understandings of the critical and dynamic aspects of connectedness, disconnectedness, multiple identities, communication patterns and media use of international students as temporary residents in Australia."

    Ly Tran, Professor, School of Education, Deakin University