Two sides of the same coin? Internationalisation and employability - students’ perceptions of employability and career outcomes from International Studies




employability, international studies, language learning, student perceptions, study abroad


The Australian higher education sector has promoted internationalisation opportunities for students, including through international studies (IS) courses that entail language and culture study and international exchange. Educators promote internationalisation for many reasons, including enhanced employability, and international studies degrees are increasingly offered in combination with professional courses. Students, however, do not necessarily share in the belief that international opportunities and language study will increase their employability. A thematic analysis of statements (n=223) supplied on student applications to withdraw from combined international studies courses in favour of single professional degrees, reveals that students fail to see employability benefits and may even perceive their international studies course as a professional liability. Understanding these beliefs can allow educators to more effectively promote the value of not only international studies degrees, but also language and culture study and exchange opportunities, and to counter some of the myths that prevent students from undertaking international opportunities.


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Author Biographies

Beate Mueller, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Lecturer in International Studies, School of International Studies and Education, University of Technology Sydney

Julie Robert, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

School of International Studies and Education, University of Technology Sydney


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How to Cite

Mueller, B., & Robert, J. (2021). Two sides of the same coin? Internationalisation and employability - students’ perceptions of employability and career outcomes from International Studies. Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability, 12(2), 19–35.