Mahlon Juma is a Kenyan who studied in Tanzania and Uganda. He started his doctoral studies in Psychology at the University of the Philippines, Diliman before transferring to the Adventist University of the Philippines. He is a licensed counselor and a board certified chaplain by Asia Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.

Nyongesa Mahlon Juma and Eunice Aclan

Adventist University of the Philippines


Without meaningful friendship formations, international students face psychological and social challenges, poor studying and decision making skills. The study explored the international students’ friendship formation in a multicultural setting in the Philippines based on the psychoanalytic conception of transference and the functional model of friendship formation. Using transcendental phenomenology, data were gathered from 12 enrolled students from 12 countries through audio-recorded one-on-one interviews. The data were transcribed and analyzed using Guba’s Model. From the findings, the preferred friendship formation was co-national for psychological, emotional support and perpetuation of the home culture. The students that preferred host-national friendships transcended multicultural home ties, experienced life satisfaction, had reduced social difficulties, appreciated culture, and would marry and work in host countries. Furthermore, the friendships contributed to improve lifestyle and psychological wellbeing, fun, happiness, enhanced critical thinking, relieved stress, and alleviated criminal activities. A quantitative study may be conducted on international students for generalizability.

Keywords:Philippines, transcendental phenomenology, international students, friendship formation, psychology