Challenges in Practicing Intimacy and Maintaining Close Friendships Across Geographical Boundaries: A Study of International Students at Universiti Sains Malaysia (74053)

Session Information: Challenging & Preserving: Culture, Inter/Multiculturalism & Language
Session Chair: Jose Macatangay

Thursday, 23 November 2023 16:15
Session: Session 5
Room: Room 703
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

As friendship is a significant aspect of human nature, international students who study abroad are bound to experience a different social setting and might encounter changes in their friendship practices, especially with their close ones. Hence, the characteristics or qualities for maintaining close friendships despite being geographically separated and having limitations on practising intimacy were explored in this study. By using semi-structured in-depth interviews with 14 postgraduate international students from various countries studying at Universiti Sains Malaysia, the findings revealed several key elements that contribute to the formation of close friendships. These include trust, similarity, dependability, and support. Through a sociological lens, the study delved deeper into how these characteristics emerge from the participants' friendship experiences. This study also highlights the challenges of intimacy practices among international students in their long-distance close friendships. By examining the ways in which intimacy is understood and cultivated in these relationships across different culture, the research provides valuable insights into the dynamics of maintaining close friendships during temporary periods of mobility abroad, as well as throughout one's lifetime.

Nur Hafeeza Ahmad Pazil, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
Intan Hashimah Mohd Hashim, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
Julia Abyana Aziya, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia

About the Presenter(s)
Dr. Nur Hafeeza Ahmad Pazil is currently a Senior Lecture in Anthropology and Sociology Section, School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00