Perceptions and experiences of home students involved in welcoming and supporting direct entry 2nd year international students

Ian Willis, Gita Sedghi

Abstract


International articulation agreements and recruiting international students take a variety of forms that require local responses. In this case, international students arrived as a pre-existing cohort and joined an established second year cohort. A Peer Assisted Learning programme was set up to support incoming students. The study explores the responses of the international students and the home students who acted as Peer Assisted Learning leaders. The findings indicate that the programme was well received by the international students. In addition, the home students were seen to act beyond the requirements of the role. The experiences of home students is a relatively under researched aspect on internationalisation. Departmental initiatives provided structures that enabled home students to respond positively in their roles as Peer Assisted Leaders and through their independent actions. This is explained in theory using a structure-agency model. The study is an example of a specific response to a particular internationalisation experience. It enriches understanding of internationalisation by paying attention to the specifics of local context. We argue that nuanced responses to specific situations will become increasingly important. The actions and ideas may resonate with universities recruiting particular groups of international students.

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