Sexual and Reproductive Health Experiences of International Students Studying in Universities of Western Countries

A Critical Literature Review

Authors

  • Dr. Abukari Kwame University of Saskatchewan https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3231-3100
  • Dr. Hua Li College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan
  • Professor Pammla M. Petrucka College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3174-3328
  • Dr. Geoffrey Maina College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v14i3.6011

Keywords:

international students, sexual and reproductive health, sexual taboo, sexual wellness, Western universities

Abstract

Engaging in sexual relationships is part of adulthood, but doing so in a foreign country can be risky because unsafe sexual experiences can have severe consequences for international students. This review explored sexual and reproductive health (SRH) experiences and needs of international university students in Western countries to identify challenges and gaps and to discuss critical SRH interventions. Four databases (Scopus, Embase, Web of Science, and PubMed) were searched for peer-reviewed journal articles published between 2000 and 2023. After screening 1607 articles, 10 met the inclusion criteria. Results of the review showed that many international students lack comprehensive knowledge about sexual health and sexually transmitted infections. They often obtain SRH information from informal sources, face language barriers, and experience difficulties navigating the healthcare systems of their host countries. University sexual wellness programs should examine how cultural orientations impact the sexual health of international students and provide culturally appropriate SRH interventions.

Author Biographies

Dr. Abukari Kwame, University of Saskatchewan

Abukari Kwame, BA, MPhil, MPhil, PhD, is a postdoc and interdisciplinary researcher in the College of Nursing, Prince Albert (PA) campus, University of Saskatchewan (Usask). His major research interests lie in the areas of patient-centred care and communication, health communication, medical anthropology, language acquisition, and Indigenous research. Email: abukarikwames@yahoo.com /abk384@usask.ca

Dr. Hua Li, College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan

Hua Li, RN, BSN, MPH, PhD, is an Assistant Professor and a faculty of the College of Nursing, Usask. Her major research interests lie in the areas of mental health and addiction, maternal and child health, immigrant health, and participatory community-based research. Email: hua.li@usask.ca

Professor Pammla M. Petrucka, College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan

Pammla M. Petrucka, RN, MN, PhD, is Professor and a faculty of the College of Nursing, Regina campus, Usask. Her research interests lie in the areas of global health, maternal health, Indigenous Peoples’ health, participatory diagramming, and participatory community-based research. Email: pammla.petrucka@usask.ca

Dr. Geoffrey Maina, College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan

Geoffrey Maina, RN, BScN, MN, PhD, is an Associate Professor and a faculty member in the College of Nursing, PA campus, Usask. His major research interests lie in the areas of participatory and community-based research, HIV/AIDS prevention, mental health, and substance use and addiction. Email: Geoffrey.maina@usask.ca

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Published

2023-08-24

How to Cite

Kwame, A., Li, H., Petrucka, P., & Maina, G. (2023). Sexual and Reproductive Health Experiences of International Students Studying in Universities of Western Countries: A Critical Literature Review. Journal of International Students, 14(1), 248–268. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v14i3.6011