Although numerous studies have explored international students’ experiences, there is a dearth of research exploring the perspectives of professionals who have contact with international students. The present study addresses this gap in the literature by providing an analysis of higher educational professionals’ (n=11) perspectives of international students’ experiences and analysing the challenges which arise when working with international students. In this study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with staff from a large Irish Higher Education Institution. Participants described a range of difficulties experienced by international students, including sociocultural and psychological difficulties, and outlined a number of challenges which exist when dealing with international students, most of which relate to cultural differences and lack of interest in internationalisation. The findings have important policy and practical implications for higher education service provision and point to the need to consider internationalisation as a process which can be enriching for international students, host students and staff members alike.
Source: Irish Educational Studies,Volume 32, Issue 3, 2013