Learning and Cultural Experiences of Arab Muslim Graduate Students in a Canadian University

Gamal Mostafa

Abstract


The purpose of the present study is to explore the experiences of Arab Muslim graduate students in the University of Alberta (U of A) regarding cultural differences and adjustment, language difficulties, supervision, differences of study system, and funding. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five Arab Muslim graduate students from Egypt, Libya, Oman, Iraq and Kuwait. The findings of the study reveal that although students experience some difficulties adjusting to Canadian society, adjustment is made easier through their interaction with local Muslim communities and organizations such as mosques. In addition, respondents indicate the multicultural nature of Canadian society is an asset that helps them o-n and off-campus. Moreover, the presence of Arab Muslim students at the U of A may help in correcting the image of Islam as a religion, distorted in the west, through interaction both academically and socially with other students. The study recommends greater cooperation between the university and Muslim cultural and religious organizations within Canadian society.

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