Arab World English Journal
Volume. 1 Number. 1 Oct. 2010                                                                  PP.107-129


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Arab Postgraduate Students in Malaysia: Identifying and Overcoming the
Cultural and Language Barriers

Dr. Khairi Obaid Al-Zubaidi
Language Academy,
Universiti Teknologi, Malaysia

Prof. Cameron Richards , Perdana School
University of Technology Malaysia (UTM)


In recent times there has been a rapid increase in the number of Arab postgraduate students in Malaysian universities which typically expect international students to submit dissertations in English. Whilst these students often achieve good qualifications in their home country, many struggle with the cultural or social as well as academic adjustments to a foreign university, to a different culture and to the requirements of undertaking research and writing in a second or foreign language. This paper will investigate the particular cultural as well as language barriers which typically confront Arab students undertaking postgraduate study in Malaysia. As well as identity key challenges faced, it will inquire into the possible strategies for assisting students to more effectively engage with many of the larger cultural barriers and academic challenges faced in language proficiency issues. The paper will report on a study undertaken into the perceptions and experiences of Arab postgraduate students at five Malaysian Universities: UM, UTM, UKM UPM, and IIUM

Keywords :- Arab postgraduate , cultural barriers , language barriers , Malaysia

 Cite as:Al-Zubaidi, K.O.,&  Richards, C. (2010). Arab Postgraduate Students in Malaysia: Identifying and Overcoming the  Cultural and Language Barriers. Arab World English Journal, 8 (1). DOI: