Living Alone: The Experiences of Married Single Students in Higher Education
Keywords:Married singleness, higher education, temporal separation, Philippines, phenomenology, international married singles
A recent trend among some families who have recognized their inability to sustain the cost of living and studying abroad, has been to send only one spouse to study first. Such situations have given rise to the phenomenon of married single students pursuing advanced studies abroad. This phenomenological study explored the related decision-making process, effects on their families, impact of the students’ life abroad and their academic performance. The study focused on six students who had experienced this phenomenon in the Philippines, specifically in two provinces. The results of the study showed that such alternative study period of married single students has a negative impact on their life at school as well as on the family left behind at home. The study also pointed to challenges that the personnel of host universities faced in accommodating the single married students’ wish to accelerate their program completion. As coping mechanisms, the participants integrated with the local community as well as the community of their nationality. Coping is also managed through maintaining communication with family through social media, as well as sharing of emotions with fellow single married students.