Harnessing international experience to improve international student employability
In a climate where the export of higher education has become a major industry for a number of English-speaking countries, internationalisation of univer- sity as well as curriculum has become a signifi cant agenda on the strategic plans of many universities. Internationalisation, however, has proved to be a multi-faceted, ambiguous and sometimes confusing concept in the context of higher education. Despite such a broad understanding, improving the achievement and satisfaction of international students has proved to be a common thread among all the interpreta- tions of the concept. An exploration of the internationalisation is carried out based on the personal experience of the author as an international student in his early career development, as well as his academic and professional experience in three continents. Over the last 25 years, as an academic in Australia, he has taken various initiatives to improve the university experience of international students enrolled in the degrees offered in his school and university. A background on the concept of internationalisation is provided. The critical role of academic staff in facilitating the smooth transition of international students to the new culture and educational envi- ronment is highlighted. The importance of providing extra support for international students and adjustment to both the content and delivery of the curriculum is under- lined. As an example, a recent experience of the author in developing and delivering a special subject on employability assets and communications for international students is described and the outcomes are examined.