Bailey, Reynolds & Szabo

STOP . . . YAMMER TIME: Using Social Media to Help International Students Transition to Master’s Level Study

Wayne Bailey, University of Huddersfield
Cheryl Reynolds, University of Huddersfield
Attila Szabo, University of Huddersfield


When transitioning from a familiar learning culture to a United Kingdom higher education (HE) culture, international students face a number of academic, cultural, and linguistic challenges. This paper considers the obstacles that international students experience and critically analyzes the use of social media to aid the academic transition of a group of postgraduate international students. Specifically, it analyzed the use of Yammer to support peer collaboration and communication to enhance academic development of a group of Southeast Asian international students undertaking an MA at a UK university in the North of England. The student feedback suggested that social support networks were important for academic engagement and development. This paper recommends more training on the affordances of Yammer, additional online tutor presence, and more scaffolded activities.

Keywords: social media, international student transition, Yammer.

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