Through of research methodology-credit hours system were requested

Through their perspectives, various scholars
have explored the academic and social challenges foreigner students face in the
experience of learning. Understanding the positive impacts and the challenges
of international nursing students can lead to a greater awareness of the obstacles
and benefits that come from their scholarship experience. The current study aimed
to recognize perspectives of Nigerian students about the influences of
cultural variation on their learning process, and rating the students’
satisfaction with the nursing scholarship experience. Both descriptive exploratory and grounded theory research
designs were utilized to conduct the quantitative and qualitative parts
of this study respectively. The study was conducted in the Faculty
of Nursing, Mansoura University, Egypt. A
purposive sample of all (n=51) first year Nigerian students who registered
at the academic year 2013-2014 2nd semester and studying the course
of research methodology-credit hours system were requested to participate in this
descriptive cross-sectional study. Tools of data collection were
included; self-administered, and semi-structured interview
questionnaire, in addition to four points of Likert scale. The study
results revealed that communication barrier, combined use of local
language, and different language barrier were cited by around three quarters of
Nigerian students as cultural variation related obstacles that influenced
teaching process as well as students’ learning. However, less than half of Nigerian
students considered know about different cultural background as a motive in
their process of learning. Conclusion: This study concluded that,
cultural variation has both positive and negative influences on Nigerian nursing
students’ learning experience. It is recommended that, recognition
of Nigerian nursing students’ perspectives are needed to support their scholarship
learning experience in a new environment of different culture.

Key terms: Cultural Variation, International
Students, Nursing, Scholarship experience, Learning process.

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Culture is a learned,
patterned behavioral response acquired over time that includes implicit versus
explicit beliefs, attitudes, values, customs, norms, taboos, arts, and life
ways accepted by a community of individuals. Culture is primarily learned and
transmitted in the family and other social organizations, shared by the
majority of the group, includes an individualized worldview, guides decision
making, and facilitates self-worth and self-esteem (Armenakis & Kiefer,
2007; Lillis & Tian, 2010;
Lu & Fan, 2015).




Cultural sensitivity is
experienced when neutral language–both verbal and nonverbal–is used in a way
that reflects sensitivity and appreciation for the diversity of another. It is
conveyed when words, phrases, categorizations, etc. are intentionally avoided,
especially when referring to any individual who may interpret them as impolite
or offensive. Cultural sensitivity is expressed through behaviors that are
considered polite and respectful by the other. Such behaviors may be expressed
in the choice of words, use of distance, negotiating with established cultural
norms of others, etc. (Armenakis & Kiefer, 2007; American Association of
College of Nursing, 2008; American Association of Colleges of Nursing,


Multicultural Education
is education that allows all students to reach their potential as learners. It
respects diversity while teaching all students to become effective and
participating members in the process of learning. It respects individuality
while promoting respect for others. It emphasizes the contributions of the
various groups (e.g., ethnic, gender, religious, sexual orientation, etc.) that
make up the population of this country. It focuses on how to learn rather than
on learning specific information. It acknowledges that different students have
different learning styles. It emphasizes understanding in terms of different
perspectives rather than learning just the facts. It takes into consideration
the learner and his or her relationship to the material. It recognizes that the
measure of one’s learning is not only the new information or understandings
that one has gained but also includes the extent to which the learner has
changed relative to the material. It helps the students make sense out of their
everyday life. It facilitates communication between students, their teachers
and the rest of society. It encourages students to learn how to resolve
conflicts in non-violent ways and finally, it promotes world peace and harmony.
Developing a multicultural classroom means more than adopting a multicultural
curriculum (Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA, 2008; Jenny, 2012). 


Many universities
utilize activities such as study abroad programs that send students to another
country to participate in academic and cultural learning. Study abroad programs
are highly impactful in meeting the goals associated with international education
regarding internalizing foreign concepts and experiencing foreign nations and
cultures (Aggarwal & Goodell, 2015). In 2013, 4.3 million students
were studying outside their home country (Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development OECD, 2013). Bordia, Bordia, and Restubog
(2015) note “despite their significant presence in abroad schools, the
needs and learning experiences of international students have not been
adequately met unless learning styles and preferences of students are
considered or have been given a great deal while planning for the educational
process of foreigner students”.


Learning styles are
collectively defined as “the preferences students have for thinking, relating
to others, and particular types of classroom environments and experiences” (Grasha,1990),
as well as the ways in which an individual characteristically acquires,
retains, and retrieves information (Claxton & Murrell, 1987).
Previous studies indicated the beneficial effect of matching teaching and
learning styles on students learning. A meta-analysis conducted by Lovelace
(2005) reported that instruction matched with individual’s learning styles
improved academic achievement and enhanced attitudes towards learning. In
addition, Stevenson and Dunn (2001) suggested that student may learn
more rapidly and effectively if preferred learning style was used. Therefore,
it is imperative for educators to incorporate different learning styles in
their teaching plan to accommodate students’ preferences and ultimately result in
a better outcome (Cakiroglu, 2014). Many scholars argue that delivering
knowledge in the students’ preferred learning styles can increase the
motivation to learn (Nuzhat, Salem, Quadri, & Al-Hamdan, 2011).
Furthermore, Felder and Silverman (1988) claimed that learners who
prefer a specific learning style could have difficulties if teaching styles
that differ from their preferred ones.


The influence of
culture on beliefs about education, the value of education, and participation
styles cannot be underestimated (Rosenberg, Westling & McLeskey 2008).
When cultural factors of one group or one individual interface with another
culture it is quite likely that some form of dissonance will occur. Such
dissonance or discord offers the potential for misunderstanding and in the
learning environment it frequently leads to less-than-successful learning
experiences for those who are cultural outsiders and not uncommonly, to
frustration, loss of motivation, and reduction in self-esteem and individual
worth. It is extremely relevant then that educators have a clear understanding
of the role cultural factors play in the learning process so that they may
utilize that knowledge to create a culturally responsive learning environment
that supports the success and achievement of all students (Perso, 2012).
This occurs when educators recognize those strengths that students bring to
school and make use of them in order to facilitate success for all learners.


Justification of the problem

Attracting more
international students with their greater tuition fees is encouraged by the
faculties and universities of the developing countries. One of the issues that
relates to international students’ perceptions about the quality of higher
education is with regards to the difficulties and problems they face while
studying in colleges outside their home countries. Therefore, this study seeks
to highlight the obstacles faced by Nigerian nursing students, as well as the
benefits and what motivate their learning in a variant culture. Moreover, it is
important to gain and understand their insights that reflect whether these
individuals recommended the host institution to other students when they return
to their home country through exploring the Nigerian students’ satisfaction
with the overall scholarship experience. This paper discusses this in greater



The aims
of this study were to:

– Get the perspectives of Nigerian students about
the influences of cultural variation on their learning process.  

– Explore
the Nigerian students’ satisfaction with their nursing scholarship experience
in Mansoura University, Egypt.


Research questions

What are the perspectives of Nigerian nursing students
about the influences of cultural variation on their learning process?

2-      How do Nigerian
students put cultural variation related obstacles that affect the learning
process into priority?

What are the cultural influences that affect Nigerian
students’ satisfaction with overall nursing scholarship experience?






            A combination
of descriptive exploratory research design was utilized to conduct the
quantitative part of this study, and a qualitative approach based on grounded theory was
developed for this research. It was a bottom-up approach where the study was
taken from the perspective of the student rather than the researcher.


study was conducted at Faculty of Nursing, Mansoura University, Egypt. 


A purposive sample;
included all the Nigerian nursing students who registered at the academic year
2013-2014 2nd semester and studying the course of research methodology-credit
hours system (n=51).

Data collection tools

tools were designed by the researchers in English language and used to collect
the required data as the following:

Tool I: A
Self-administered Questionnaire

tool included seven open ended questions which related to the influences of cultural
variation on Nigerian students’ learning, and concerned with obstacles
affecting learning, cultural differences motivate learning, and beneficial from
cultural differences in learning.


Tool II:
A Semi-Structured Interview Questionnaire

            This tool included seven
open ended questions which concerned with putting cultural variation related
problems and obstacles affecting learning, cultural differences that motivate
learning, and benefits from cultural differences in learning in absolute into
priorities. Through this tool, Nigerian students’ responses will be recorded handwriting
and also by recording with the camcorder.


Tool III:
Four Points of Likert Scale (satisfaction rating scale)

            It was
composed of ten statements for ratings of the Nigerian students’ satisfaction
with overall scholarship experience. The respondents were required to indicate
their agreement or disagreement with the scale items on a four-point Likert
scale. If the traditional five-point scale was used, respondents had the
tendency to select responses in the center of the scale. The responses for the
four-point scale were: strongly agree (4), agree (3), disagree (2), and strongly
disagree (1).



I- Preparatory phase

1- Ethical

The Community Health Nursing and Pediatric
Nursing Departments Committees approved to conduct this study. Approval was obtained from the Faculty of
Nursing Research Ethics Committee. All questionnaires
were anonymous and considered confidential. All the Nigerian students were informed about
the study in the beginning of the course. Nigerian Students were informed that
their participation at this study is voulantary, and their perspectives about
the course would have no effect on their educational assessment.

2- Tool development

After reviewing the past and current literatures,
the study tools were developed. The content validity of the study tools is
assessed by a jury of 5 experts in the field of education, pediatric nursing
and community health nursing for its clarity, and relevance. According to jury
suggestions, minor modification was done in the sequence of one tool items. The
developed tools were statistically tested for its reliability, and yield a
Cronbach’s alpha of 0.94. 

II- Exploratory phase

Pilot study

It was conducted on 10% of total subjec’s size to
estimate time required to fulfill the tools and its applicability. Based on the
findings of the pilot study, some modifications were made on the used English
language terms. Students who participated in the pilot study were excluded from
the study subjects. 

Data collection technique

A cross-sectional study was conducted with 51
first year Nigerian undergraduate nursing students undergoing a range of
courses at Faculty of Nursing belongs to one of the Egyptian Universities to explore
students’ perspectives about the difficulties and benefits related to studying
in a variant culture and may affect their learning and overall scholarship

The quantitative data were collected using the
first tool’s sheet which was distributed on the
Nigerian students at the end of the last lecture of research methodology
course by credit hours system. The researchers instructed the students to
fulfill the sheet anonymously. The researchers wait for 30-45 minutes; the
required time to fulfillment the tool, then collected the sheets after students
had been finished. Based on Nigerian students’ interviews; the second tool was
used to collect qualitative data immediately after finishing the course. The
researchers conducted semi-structured interview for groups of volunteers’ Nigerian students; each group contained
3-5 students. The lengths of interviews were approximately one hour each,
through which one of the researchers asked the questions, and the other wrote
the response of students, simultaneously the interview recorded by using camcorder
to ensure the conformity of responses (what was said by the students and what
was writen by the researcher during an interview), complete missed words or
statements; if dropped during handwriting. Shortly before
graduation, the third tool was used and explored
international students’ satisfaction with overall scholarship experience and
how they influenced whether these
individuals recommended the host institution to others when they return to
their home country. The researchers distributed the sheets and instructed the
students to anonymously rate each statement that described their openion/experience
through put “a true like sign” inside the box of four-point Likert
scale items by strongly disagree, disagree, agree, and strongly disagree. The
researchers wait for 15-20 minutes until students finished and collect the
scale sheets.


III- Statistical Analysis

The collected data were revised, coded,
tabulated, and analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences
(SPSS, version 21). Descriptive statistics including frequency and percentage
were calculated to characterize the study findings. 



Characteristics of Nigerian students reveal
that, more than half (56.9%, & 52.9%) of them are males, and age from
25-<30 respectively, with the mean of 25.92 ± 2.55 years old, and all of them are Muslims. Urban residence and single status of Nigerian students represents more than three quarters (76.5%), and most (96.1% (respectively (Table1).   The majority (86.3%) and more than three quarters (78.4%) of Nigerian students state that there are cultural differences affecting the teaching process for foreigner students, and their learning respectively. All of the Nigerian students mention that, there are obstacles affecting foreigner students' learning. Moreover, most (94.1%), and the majority (88.2%) of Nigerian students view cultural differences motivate, and beneficent for foreigner students' learning respectively (Table 2).   Table (3) illustrates that the highest percentages 77.3%, 70% and 74.5% of Nigerian students report that different language/communication barrier, combined use of local language, and different language barrier are the priority among problems affecting teaching process, learning, and obstacles for foreigner students respectively. Considering learning motives and benefits for foreigner students' priority reflections, they are conducive learning environment by 47.9%, give a chance to know about different cultural background, and improve coping ability by 31.1 % of the study sample.   Table (4) shows that more than two thirds (69.2%), and less than half (46.2%) of Nigerian students state that different language, and poor interaction with native Arabic colleagues were problems and obstacles affecting foreigner students' learning respectively. Furthermore, half (50.0%) and the vast majority (92.3%) of Nigerian students reveal that exposure to different new teaching methods, and deal with a very supportive staff are cultural differences motivate, and beneficent for foreigner students' learning respectively.   Table (5) reveals that agree occupied the highest percentages in ratings of the Nigerian students' satisfaction with scholarship learning experience which range from 19.6% to 56.9% except the items of "I would rather describe the scholarship experience as compensatory", "As a foreigner student, the provided scholarship programs met my learning expectations", "I would recommend this scholarship to other younger students when return back to homeland",  and "I would like to take another chance of scholarship for postgraduate degree here" strongly agree are the highest percentage 43.1%, 39.2%, 35.3%, and 60.8%. On the opposite side, disagree 43.1% is the highest percentage for the item of "I would describe the scholarship experience as being highly interesting than local studying in our home country" with the Median of 17.