According to latest trends, studying abroad has become increasingly popular in the last decade. Therefore, it has become imperative to understand the elements that impact international students’ experiences in foreign campuses. Identifying these factors will not just help in ensuring the well-being of international students but also help in attracting them to study abroad; thus, boosting overseas education.
A recent survey conducted by the University of Australia, depicts that several aspects of the learning environment and living experiences determines the happiness of an individual in the life of an international student. International students from 35 Australian universities participated in the survey which tracked the motivations, decision-making, and well-being of international students during their studies. Around 56,376 students from 100 countries participated in the survey. The study and correlation of their responses affirmed that the happiness of students of the same nationality depends on similar factors, i.e. the elements responsible for the happiness of international students also depend upon the country of their origin.
|Nationality||Highest Rated Responses|
|China||Good Contacts||Visa Advice||Catering|
|India||Employability||Course Organization||Expert Lectures|
|Nepal||Course Organization||Quality Lectures||Expert Lectures|
|Vietnam||Employability||Good Contacts||Good Place To Be|
|Malaysia||Campus Buildings||Good Contacts||Social Facilities|
|Pakistan||Course Organization||Career Advice||Work Experience|
|Indonesia||Good Place To Be||Good Contacts||Safety|
|Hong Kong||Social Facilities||Host Culture||Employability|
|Sri Lanka||Campus Buildings||Campus Environment||Host Culture|
|Singapore||Social Facilities||Host Culture||Employability|
The most popular elements that appeared in the highest correlation with the happiness of international students were:
- Making good contacts for the future (Good Contact)
- Learning that will help me to get a good job (Employability)
- The organization and smooth running of the course (Course Organization)
- The availability of social facilities (Social Facilities)
- The design and quality of the campus buildings (Campus Buildings)
Those students who had higher satisfaction with the above areas were also recorded with a high level of happiness in their lives as an international student. Similarly, the students who had low satisfaction in these aspects were recorded to have lower happiness with their studies as well as their lives as an international student. A deep study of the data revealed that the elements of happiness also depend on student’s characteristics including their nationality. For instance, for the undergraduate Chinese students, the top three elements impacting happiness were ‘making good contacts for the future’, ‘immigration and visa advice from the institution’, and ‘campus eating places’. However, for the Indian students ‘the subject area expertise of lecturers/supervisors’, was the most important element responsible for their happiness. The result of the survey has outlined key factors that determine the happiness of international students. The top five popular factors highlight the importance of future job prospects and learning experience offered by the university and campus environment. These factors are most significant in determining an international student’s happiness.
This awareness will help universities to frame their policy in accordance with students’ happiness quotient, eventually creating a congenial environment for international students.