Transnationalism, leisure, and Chinese graduate students in the United States

Monica Z. Li, Monika Stodolska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the substantial number of international students attending colleges and universities in the United States, limited efforts have been devoted to understanding their leisure behavior. The aim of this study was to identify factors related to the transnational status that affected leisure experiences of interviewed Chinese international graduate students. The theory of transnationalism, which posits that contemporary migrants maintain economic, political, social and cultural linkages to their countries of origin, was employed as the theoretical framework. The data were collected from 16 semi-structured interviews with students enrolled in one of the public universities in the Midwest. The findings revealed that the temporary residence in the U.S., coupled with a strong desire to focus on their studies abroad, were the most important factors affecting leisure of Chinese graduate students. Transnational circumstances influenced their emotional well-being, and certain legal barriers constrained their leisure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-55
Number of pages17
JournalLeisure Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Chinese international students
  • Leisure
  • Transnationalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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