Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Humanities and Social Inquiry


This study constructs a collective story of Saudi female expats (SFEs) as they navigate the transition from their conservative society in Saudi Arabia to a new one in Australia. It examines the impact of the SFE’s Arabic background and their English learning experiences in Australia on their lives and explores SFEs perceptions of their self-representation in the social and educational milieu in Australia. Additionally, it sheds light on the intricate relationships between language, culture, gender and self-representation.

The study employs a demographic questionnaire and semi-structured interviews with twenty-two SFEs in Australia. The study adopts lenses from social identity theory (Erikson 1968; Tajfel & Turner 1979, 1986), Intragroup marginalisation (Castillo et al. 2007), Social learning theory (Bandura 1977; Ryle 2011) and Oberg's cultural shock theory (1960) to guide the analysis of the study data.

FoR codes (2020)

470306 English as a second language, 470411 Sociolinguistics



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.