© 2020

The Eastern Train on the Western Track

An Australian Case of Chinese Doctoral Students’ Adaptation


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Xing Xu, Helena Hing Wa Sit, Shen Chen
    Pages 1-15
  3. Xing Xu, Helena Hing Wa Sit, Shen Chen
    Pages 17-45
  4. Xing Xu, Helena Hing Wa Sit, Shen Chen
    Pages 47-65
  5. Xing Xu, Helena Hing Wa Sit, Shen Chen
    Pages 67-86
  6. Xing Xu, Helena Hing Wa Sit, Shen Chen
    Pages 87-116
  7. Xing Xu, Helena Hing Wa Sit, Shen Chen
    Pages 117-135
  8. Xing Xu, Helena Hing Wa Sit, Shen Chen
    Pages 137-154
  9. Xing Xu, Helena Hing Wa Sit, Shen Chen
    Pages 155-167

About this book


This book makes valuable theoretical, empirical, and methodological contributions to the study of overseas doctoral students’ cross-cultural adaptation.

Focusing on Australia, one of the top three destinations for Chinese students, this book seeks to understand how Chinese doctoral students perceive their lived experience of adapting to the academic and research environment at Australian universities. 

The book presents an innovative data collection chiefly based on interviews. It probes into Chinese doctoral students’ emic perception of their cross-cultural adaptation from a human development perspective and in three main phrases: how motivated and prepared they are for their overseas stay (planning), how they experience their adaptation as active agents (implementing), and how they evaluate their overseas doctoral journey after the fact (reflecting).   

Empirically speaking, its findings can help bolster the effectiveness of cross-cultural adaptation and that of the internationalisation of doctoral education. Methodologically speaking, it combines popular techniques and underused instruments such as graphics and maps to offer an in-depth portrait of the issue. 

Given its content, the book is primarily intended for researchers in cultural studies and practitioners in international education, or in a broader sense for anyone who has a keen interest in how individuals navigate the learning trajectory and construe meanings in unfamiliar academic and socio-cultural settings. Though the book focuses on Australia as a case study, its findings are equally applicable to other contexts.


Doctoral Education International Education Cultural Adaptation Intercultural Communication Chinese Students

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of International RelationsSichuan International Studies UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.School of EducationThe University of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia
  3. 3.School of EducationThe University of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia

About the authors

Xing Xu is an English Lecturer at Sichuan International Studies University, China, and a researcher at the School of Education, University of Newcastle, Australia. She has been widely involved in research projects on English teaching and learning in China as principal investigator and co-investigator. Her research expertise includes English Teaching, International Education, Cross-cultural Studies, and Qualitative Methodology. She has a well-recognised publication record in these research areas in both Chinese and international refereed journals.

Helena Hing Wa Sit is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Education, University of Newcastle, Australia. Prior to joining the University of Newcastle, she worked as a teaching and research academic at Macquarie University and the University of Hong Kong. She won the Newcastle annual award for best Ph.D. thesis in 2011. In the same year, her Ph.D. thesis was nominated by the University of Newcastle for the 2011 AARE (Australian Association of Research in Education) Doctoral Award. Her expertise includes International Education, Second Language Education, Teaching Strategies for Advanced English Learners, and Cross-cultural Studies. Her research experience at Hong Kong University, the University of Newcastle, and Macquarie University is concerned with internationalisation, transformative learning, and innovation language education programmes. She has supervised numerous Ph.D. students, and her contributions have been recognised at both the national and international levels.

Shen Chen is a programme coordinator for both Master of TESOL and Second Language Teaching at the School of Education, University of Newcastle, Australia. Educated in both China and Australia, he has worked at Nanjing Normal University, China, and at Melbourne University and Deakin University in Australia. His international experience includes serving as a research fellow and Visiting Professor at Cambridge, Warwick, UK; the University of California Berkeley, USA; UBC in Canada; Hong Kong University, and Nanjing University in China. His reputation for outstanding research and teaching led many international Ph.D. students to pursue his supervision, which garnered him a Supervision Excellence Award from the University of Newcastle, followed by a National Teaching Award in 2014. One of his most recent books is Teaching of Culture in English as an International Language: An Integrated Model, London, UK: Routledge (2019), co-authored with one of his former students.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Eastern Train on the Western Track
  • Book Subtitle An Australian Case of Chinese Doctoral Students’ Adaptation
  • Authors Xing Xu
    Helena Hing Wa Sit
    Shen Chen
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020
  • Publisher Name Springer, Singapore
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-981-15-4264-0
  • Softcover ISBN 978-981-15-4267-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-981-15-4265-7
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages VII, 167
  • Number of Illustrations 2 b/w illustrations, 6 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Sociology of Education
    Cultural Anthropology
    Research Methodology
  • Buy this book on publisher's site