Exploring the impact of international student mobility on cross-cultural learning adaptation

Monika Foster

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Recent developments in globalisation of higher education encourage increased student mobility. This talk examines the extent to which international student mobility exerts an impact on cross-cultural learning adaptation of the students in new learning environments. Informed by an innovative, cross-faculty study involving international academics from business and design, the learning experiences of students from China studying business in the UK and students from the UK studying design in China are explored. Using Kolb’s theory of experiential learning to frame the study, and corresponding to the key features of the learning in cross-cultural conceptualisation proposed by Cortazzi and Jin, seven themes of adaptation of students’ learning styles are identified including students’ perceptions and response to good teaching, good learning, peers and assessment. Each plays an important role in facilitating effective engagement with learning in the new learning environment. Guidelines for systematic, pre-mobility, intercultural skills development are suggested to ensure maximum benefits from study abroad. This paper informs the design of student mobility programmes with aspects of intercultural empathy in the context of internationalised higher education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmpowering 21st Century Learners Through Holistic and Enterprising Learning
Subtitle of host publicationSelected Papers from Tunku Abdul Rahman University College International Conference 2016
EditorsGeok Bee Teh, Siew Chee Choy
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic) 978981102416
ISBN (Print)9789811042409
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Learning and Teaching: empowering 21st Century learners through holistic and enterprising learning - Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Duration: 17 Oct 201618 Oct 2016
Conference number: 4


ConferenceInternational Conference on Learning and Teaching
Abbreviated titleTIC 2016
CityKuala Lumpur
Internet address


  • Internationalisation
  • Student mobility
  • Cross-cultural learning adapation


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