Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume.7 Number.4  December, 2016                                   Pp.3 – 12

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Negotiating Academic Identity on a North-American Branch Campus

Krystyna U. Golkowska
ESL Director
English Writing Program Coordinator
Weill Cornell Medicine in Qatar
Education City, Qatar Foundation, Doha, Qatar 



This paper focuses on transnational education (TNE) and student academic identity development. In recent years many North-American universities opened branch campuses abroad. This phenomenon resulted in growing interest in TNE. However, for the most part, the body of research on TNE reflects the perspective of the home institution, which privileges focus on curriculum design and program administration. There is still need for studies from an ecological perspective. Arguably, more attention needs to be given to the lived experience of students negotiating disparate discourses and conflicting cultural value systems, especially in the Middle East. The author presents a case study of a university on a mega-campus in Doha, Qatar to explore students’ perceptions of their identity negotiation in a new complex social and symbolic space of a TNE campus. Discussing the findings of an exploratory research project, she asks what pedagogical practices can best help students to function between languages and cultures.
Keywords: gender, identity, sociocultural, symbolic competence, transnational education

Cite as: Golkowska, K. U. (2016). Negotiating Academic Identity on a North-American Branch Campus. Arab World English Journal7(4). DOI:


Krystyna U. Golkowska, Associate Professor of English, teaches writing and serves as ESL
Director and First-Year Seminars Coordinator at Weill Cornell Medicine in Qatar. Her research
interests include English literature, ESL/EFL Pedagogy, Applied Linguistics, and intercultural