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Conference on Language, Wellbeing, and Productivity: International PhD students' journey in the UK

A PhD is challenging. Doing it in another language makes it more so. International PhD students in the UK are the focus of this project due to them being the most vulnerable group among the academia workforce to develop poor due mental health.due to risk factors like adaptability issues. Therefore, including them in an event specifically designed for their identity and for the struggle they have had among language, wellbeing and productivity can lead to insights to retain them. The project would not only help to put participants with similar backgrounds at ease but also contribute to new perspectives and evidence for wellbeing and academic team around the HEIs in the UK to gain practical and targeted insights into how to better promote international PhD students’ wellbeing and productivity.

This event will be a collaborative and interdisciplinary project which would include the organizers and participants both from Warwick and from outside Warwick. The event is designed to support 20 international PhD students from different universities with their PhD studies here in the UK, by guiding them to explore the connection between language, their wellbeing and productivity. There will be invaluable chances to network and support other international PhDs in the UK, to hear and practice mindfulness from inspiring professionals and to reflect critically on their life journey in the UK as an international PhD student through nature therapy.

The output of this event will include reflective zines on international PhD experiences produced by participants, strategies for intercultural interaction to promote academic collaboration, practical tips from professionals and implications for UK universities about how to support international PhD students in a more targeted and efficient way, for their well-being and productivity.

Zhuo Meifang & Siyu Wang (University of Warwick), Andrea Stein & Yanxi Wu (University of Salford)