International Students: Who’s Satisified and Who’s Not While Studying Abroad

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A recent satisfaction survey suggests that international students from Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia are least satisfied with their time studying abroad.

The survey consisted of 60,000 international students from 48 universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

The survey, the International Student Barometer created by the International Graduate Insight Group (i-graduate), asked for students to rate their overall satisfaction on a scale from 1 (very dissatisfied) to 4 (very satisfied).

The survey found that most students are mostly satisfied with their experiences. The average satisfaction level was 3.09 for undergraduates and 3.08 for graduate students.

However, the results also showed that satisfaction depending on the country of origin. Students from Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong reported having the lowest satisfaction averages. Other countries with low average scores include Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.

intl student satisfaction_international student voice magazine

Graphic provided by Inside Higher Ed

Various reasons were discussed as to why certain students are not satisfied with their time studying abroad:

  • Not having familiarity with English and/or cultural traits
  • Financial disadvantages
  • Less-informed decision making
  • Lack of integration

When I read over the results, I was not at all surprised. Recruitment of international students is a top priority for Western universities, but where these institutions lack is following up with students when they arrive on campus.

For example, there is no doubt that the largest number of international students are from China. Since they have a large population on campus, in general Chinese students tend to stay together, causing them not to integrate into campus life. This has a negative affect on their overall experiences because they become frustrated about certain things they never had a chance to understand, especially certain aspects of Western culture.

I also do not know what the i-graduate survey looks like. I don’t know what questions they asked in order to determine “satisfaction”. There are so many definitions of satisfaction and so many things that can influence a student’s experience.

Why do you think these certain students are the least satisfied? Why do you think students from Europe are the most satisfied?


international student voice magazine webCarrie2Carrie Circosta

Editor in Chief



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