Cyber spatial mediations and educational mobilities
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Cyber-spatial mediations and educational mobilities. International Students and the Internet. Francis Leo Collins Department of Geography National University of Singapore. Outline. International education and transnationalism Cyber-space, everyday life and transnationalism

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Cyber-spatial mediations and educational mobilities

International Students and the Internet

Francis Leo Collins

Department of Geography

National University of Singapore


  • International education and transnationalism

  • Cyber-space, everyday life and transnationalism

  • Mediating educational mobility:

    • Community portal – New Zealand Iyagi

    • Personal homepages – Cyworld ‘minihompy’

  • Conclusion

  • Research focus:

    • South Korean international students in Auckland

    • International students as urban agents and the transformation of urban space

    • Role of transnational networks and actors in the mobility and everyday lives of international students

  • Methodology:

    • Survey (n=118); policy/media; participant observation

    • Interviews: key informants (n=15); students (n=29), former students (n=14)

    • Diary/mapping exercise (n=14); personal homepage analysis (n=7)

  • Cyberspaces and int’l student lives:

    • Internet resources as part of student mobility and everyday lives

    • Role of personal homepages in maintenance of transnational ties

    • Cyberspaces and interactions with local populations

International Education

International Education

International Education and Transnationalism

  • ‘Bridges to Learning’:

    Transnational activities that serve to bridge the distance between student origins and study destinations

Internet in South Korea

Internet use by South Korean international students in Auckland

Korean average:

~11hours/week (2006)


Is there anyone who went to ‘School A’ during your study English overseas,

or who is currently attending there or who has attended there? I would like

to know if this school is worth to go.


1) You will regret if you go there. More than half of the class is Koreans.

Well, any major schools are like this though…

2) My friend went and enjoyed there more than 1 year and came back to


3) ‘School A’ Auckland has 140 students limit but more than 40 are Koreans.

Of course it’s a famous school. Ha ha

4) I am currently attending ‘School A’… There are many Koreans in the

classes up to the intermediate level in most schools but there are really a lot

of Europeans in the high-intermediate classes and above at this school.

5) I am currently attending ‘School B’. There are only two Koreans and the

rest are European classmates. Perhaps it’s worth to think about the

atmosphere of the school when you decide your school.

Be Careful of Tutors:

I found a tutor because I had an urgent essay assignment.

I explained him about the essay and asked him if he could help me in advance. He was very confident and he even said he could write it for me.

I met the tutor who cost me $40 an hour and minimum of 2 hours.

When he was helping my essay he didn’t paraphrase the text book contents but almost copied it and let me know. (Actually I can write the essay like that by myself.)

Because I have been studying overseas only for 1 year my English is not very good but anyone knows that we cannot copy an essay and submit it as an assignment.

Thus, I told him we shouldn’t copy the textbook too much but he insisted that it was the right way to write an essay and got angry at me. He really seemed that he just wanted to fill those hours…

He is a very old man. During the lesson he spat out phlegm and blew his nose. Ok, I can understand it if he got a cold. However, he even touched his toes with his fingers. Is this OK during the lesson?

The teachers who said they are very confident. There’s nothing they can’t do in verbal.

When you need a tutor please find a tutor who is specialised in the subject where you need help. Otherwise you will waste your money, just like me

Please be careful!!

To agents who sent messages and replies to questions about language schools

People have been posting suggestions or questions about agents a lot on the board.

I am not surprised. It costs students a lot of money and they are not very sure of it.

Recently I have seen many agents sending many messages as replies to these posts as advertisements.

I wonder if such personal business minded replies provide the right information.

Also, I think such replies will confuse the correct right information about the language school.

You probably know that New Zealand Iyagi café is not the place where language school agents can run your business.

Thus, I have downgraded the membership of a number of agents who sent advertising messages to other members.

Enough is enough.

Please do not run your business in this café.

FLC: Why did you choose to study in New Zealand?

Actually at that time I really wanted to go abroad to study English. First purpose was a… to study English. At that time I was really afraid of going abroad by myself but fortunately I met ‘Jin-Hee’ on her website and ‘Jin-Hee’ told me she could help me a lot and quite a little bit I relied on her.

Female, Language student

We used to have a diary each; like it's a diary and you put like stickers and you would stick photos of friends, it's like offline kind of thing, it's like offline Cyworld. [With Cyworld] it's changed to online trend now and everyone‘s doing it and even the celebrity in Korea is doing it, so it's becoming really really popular.

Female, Tertiary student

Everyone is using that [Cyworld] and it's about myself. I can put pictures and other things—how do I say … my friends … I can write about me and anything else on the internet.

Female, Language student

Mediating Educational Mobilities

  • Community portal – New Zealand Iyagi

    • Construction and circulation of knowledge about study destinations

    • Shared resources for making educational choices and learning strategies

  • Personal homepages – Cyworld minihompy

    • Facilitate maintenance of interpersonal networks that support student mobility

    • Contribute to construction and circulation of knowledge about place

    • Mediate the distance and difference students encounter while studying abroad

“Conceptions of where learning can and should take place are being challenged”


  • Cyberspace contributes to institutional, industry and interpersonal ‘bridges to learning’ that facilitate international student mobility

  • New Zealand Iyagiand Cyworldminihompyalso influence the manner in which cross-border educational mobility takes place

“The widespread use of cyber-space has, arguably, ‘democratised’ learning”

  • Cyberspace contributes to the educational mobility of some Koreans (facilitating class attainment/reproduction)

  • Mediates otherwise commercial market forces through community formations and interpersonal networks

“Local, national, and international geographies (and social inequalities) of virtual education”

  • Cyberspace mediates and at times directs international student mobilities

    • Transnationally – where students study

    • Locally – how students adapt to new educational environs, maintain linkages with home

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