Employability of international students: Strategies to enhance their experience on work-integrated learning (WIL) programs

Thanh Pham, Dat Bao, Eisuke Saito, Raqib Chowdhury


This paper presents a systematic qualitative review of relevant literature, documents and reports, and critically discusses issues facing international students undertaking work-integrated learning (WIL) activities as part of their higher education in Australia. Initiatives utilised to better support international students on these WIL placements are described. Based on an evaluation of the data reviewed, the discussion highlights two main challenges to international students’ employment experiences: a limited competence in English communication, and a limited understanding of the local working context. In seeking explanations for the above, the authors identified factors such as inadequate student-entry procedures, limited opportunities for socialisation, limited input in cultural protocols, and the lack of soft-skills training. The recommended solutions include more uniformity between government and employer sectors, increased acceptance and support for multicultural diversity, an openness towards diverse ways of thinking, and an enhancement of training in diverse communication styles.


work-integrated learning, employability, international students, Australia, higher education

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21153/jtlge2018vol9no1art693


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