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The role of social media in promoting citizenship values of international students during the COVID-19 global health crisis

Thelal Iqab Oweis (School of Basic Sciences and Humanities, German Jordanian University, Amman, Jordan)

International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare

ISSN: 2056-4902

Article publication date: 19 May 2021

Issue publication date: 13 April 2022




The purpose of this study, accordingly, is to not only offer insights about Arab international students’ stress management and adjustment mechanisms while abroad but also bring to light the extent to which these digital citizens’ use of social media networks reinforces their citizenship values and preserves their national identity during the COVID-19 global health crisis.


The researcher adopted the descriptive approach, which is the appropriate scientific method for this type of research studies, grounded on an examination of the reality or phenomenon, depending on its quantitative analysis and its accurate description by means of collecting data, using the measurement tool of questionnaire to identify the role of social media in relation to citizenship during the COVID-19 global health crisis.


Jordanian exchange students heavily rely on social media during the pandemic, choosing Facebook as their most favorable choice during the pandemic to connect with family and friends near and far, while choosing WhatsApp as the most favorable choice for promoting citizenship values during the pandemic, with an average willingness to actually discuss citizenship through social media. The findings affirm results and conclusions of previous studies about the crucial role of social media in international students’ cross-cultural experiences, especially during stressful events like the COVID-19 global health crisis.


Unfortunately, and even before the outbreak of the COVID-19 global health crisis, Arab international students, including exchange students, are already underrepresented in studies of international students’ adjustment and stress management in hosting countries (Farrugia et al., 2017; Meleis, 1982). This marginalization, or partial exclusion, of Arab international students’ experiences abroad should alert scholars of missed research opportunities that should alter existing knowledge about international students, especially when we realize, for example, that Arab international students showed the highest stress level among international students – including Asians who, according to previous studies, usually struggle the most (Bai, 2016:103).



Ethics: Prior to conducting the study, ethics approval was obtained from the Deanship of Students Affairs. A written consent was also sought from each participant.Funding: The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.Conflicts of interest: The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


Oweis, T.I. (2022), "The role of social media in promoting citizenship values of international students during the COVID-19 global health crisis", International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 177-187.



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