Maria's story - the narrative of a mature international student


  • Claire Hamshire Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Kirsten Jack Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Alicia Prowse Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Christopher Wibberley Manchester Metropolitan University



learning, transition, first year, narrative


This study examines in-depth the experiences of a mature, international student during her first year at university in the UK, to explore the different dimensions of her learning transitions.  The aim was to gain an in-depth understanding into the factors that influenced a student's on-going development and transformation over their first year; therefore we adopted a narrative exploration / inquiry as a means of collecting data.

Maria's narrative is complex and atypical of the majority of the students in the cohort, yet it details the personal, social and academic challenges that can constitute the first year at HE; as personal history and expectations have a varying degree of influence on an individual's transition.

In line with other research, this case study shows that students integration into the academic community, combined with peer support is crucial if they are going to settle into university life. The transition to HE is an on-going process and lasts longer than the initial weeks of the formal induction offered by the university.

Author Biographies

Claire Hamshire, Manchester Metropolitan University

Senior Learning and Teaching Fellow
National Teaching Fellow 2012
Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care
Manchester Metropolitan University

Kirsten Jack, Manchester Metropolitan University

Dr Kirsten Jack is a senior lecturer in adult nursing atàManchester Metropolitan University. Her research interests lie in the development of nurses emotional self-awareness and the creation of innovative educational methods.

Alicia Prowse, Manchester Metropolitan University

Dr Alicia Prowse is a Principal Lecturer in the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at Manchester Metropolitan University. Research interests include internationalising the curriculum and global citizenship education, interdisciplinary collaborative inquiry and student motivation.

Christopher Wibberley, Manchester Metropolitan University

Dr Christopher Wibberley is a Principal Lecturer in Research Degree development and has worked at MMU since 1991. His research interests include the Narrative explorations of experiences.




How to Cite

Hamshire, C., Jack, K., Prowse, A. and Wibberley, C. (2015) “Maria’s story - the narrative of a mature international student”, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, (8). doi: 10.47408/jldhe.v0i8.219.




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