Making intercultural friends: How social and individual factors affect the Mainland-Hong Kong friendship network

Yick Wah LEUNG, Baohua YU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In recent years, there has been a rapid growth of Mainland students in higher education institutions in Hong Kong. However, it is frequently reported that Mainland students have difficulties in developing friendship with local peers. To facilitate the Mainland-HK integration, this study examines the relationship that mediates social and individual factors and Mainland-HK friendship. 159 students completed an online survey, which was followed by semi-structured interviews with 24 students.
Results showed that mainland students rated their intercultural friendship higher in terms of quality and the number of friends and that willingness to communicate (WTC) in second language (L2) was correlated with the satisfaction in friendship between the two groups. Perceived language proficiency was correlated with L2 WTC although it is not totally correlated with the level of friendship, while prior intercultural experience was correlated with L2 WTC and the number of mainland friends among local students. The finding also sheds light on implications to university support and future research.
近年,入讀香港各大學的內地學生數量大幅增加,然而不少研究指出內地生往往難以跟本地學生建立友誼。為了促進中港融學,本研究審視了各種社交與個人因素如何影響中港友誼的建立。本研究邀請了 159 名學生完成網上問卷,其中 24 名學生進一步受邀參與半結構性訪談。研究結果顯示 (i) 內地學生在中港友誼的數量和質量滿意度的評分高於香港學生;第二語言溝通意願 (L2 WTC) 與中港友誼的各項滿意度存在顯著相關;(iii) 個人感知的第二語言水平,與其第二語言溝通意願存在顯著相關;(iv) 過去跨文化經驗與香港學生的第二語言溝通意願,及其中港友誼數量存在顯著相關,但此相關性未見於內地學生。本研究的結果有助各大專院校為非本地學生制定更適切的支援政策,並探討了未來進階研究的可能方向。 Copyright © 2019 Hong Kong Teachers' Centre Journal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-173
JournalHong Kong Teachers' Centre Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2019



Leung, Y. W., & Yu, B. (2019). Making intercultural friends: How social and individual factors affect the Mainland-Hong Kong friendship network. Hong Kong Teachers' Centre Journal, 18, 145-173.


  • Intercultural friendship
  • Non-local students
  • Intercultural communication
  • Willingness to communicate
  • Language proficiency
  • 跨文化友誼
  • 非本地學生
  • 溝通意願
  • 語言能力
  • Alt. title: 跨文化友誼的建立︰社交及個人因素如何對中港友誼網絡的影響