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Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2040-4344
  • E-ISSN: 2040-4352



This article explores the ways in which Saudi female international students (SFIS) in Australia use social networking sites (SNS) to help them form social networks and present their online identity. Based on themes derived from five in-depth interviews, findings suggest that SFIS use SNS in a way that helps them foster a sense of belonging and connectivity regardless of their location. Currently SFIS use Facebook mainly to keep in touch with friends and family that are both local and international; gain knowledge of the various social and political events happening around them; and have ‘fun’. Similar to findings in the literature on social media use by students, SFIS form distinct virtual social networks made up not only of their conational Saudi friends, but also international Saudi as well as Australian and international friends whom they have face to face contact within Australia. As their main purpose of using SNS was to keep in touch with friends, SFIS reported using their real and accurate identity to make it easy for friends to find them. However, when it comes to the online sharing of personal photos SFIS showed a negative attitude towards posting their personal photos due to cultural considerations. Overall, findings of the study align with the literature in which SNS such as Facebook are instrumental for SFIS in maintaining a strong sense of connectivity and bonding while they are temporarily out of their home country.


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