Expectations and Experiences of Inbound Exchange Students: Insights for Improving the University’s Image

Abstract

The percentage of undergraduates on campus being international is a metric of university-specific key performance indicators in the domain of enhanced internationalization. More universities are recognizing this and trying to attract qualified inbound students. Recommendations from friends who attended the host institution and from staff in their home university are important factors for inbound students to consider when choosing a host university. Due to the significance of word-of-mouth’s impact on inbound students’ university preferences, this study thoroughly investigated their expectations and experiences of inbound exchange. All 1191 inbound students at a university in Hong Kong were invited to complete a feedback survey near the end of their exchange studies. A total of 279 students (response rate 23.4%) completed the questionnaire. The results showed that 96.8% of the respondents indicated their exchange experience to be rewarding or very rewarding; 82.1% of the respondents rated their academic experience at the host university to be good or excellent; and 74.2% of the respondents enjoyed the non-academic aspects of campus life at the host university. The effectiveness of exchange experience in facilitating cultural awareness and understanding, adaptability to changes, being open-minded, and interpersonal and self-development was high (above four on the five-point scale). However, student services navigation and diversity of catering outlets to various ethnic groups were lower than the respondents’ expectations. The findings were used for education administrators to formulate strategies in enhancing inbound student satisfaction and further boosting up the university’s image at the international level.



Author Information
Annie W.Y. Ng, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong
Chung-Yee Lee, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong

Paper Information
Conference: SEACE2020
Stream: Learning Experiences

This paper is part of the SEACE2020 Conference Proceedings (View)
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