In October 2015, LiverpoolSU, in partnership with LJMU, launched the International Student Project with the aim of exploring the learning, living and social experiences of LJMU International Students.
The project involved international students from a wide range of countries and backgrounds, from undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
The project’s objective was to identify specific issues that LJMU International undergraduate and postgraduate students encounter in their learning, living and social life. We also aimed at focusing on solutions and making recommendations to the university to improve the experience of international students. The project came to an end in June 2016.
The project encompassed:
1. Group discussions:
We held in-depth discussions with international students in focus groups and regular 1-1 interviews, facilitated by four international experience reps.
The group discussions took place over three cycles between October 2015 and May 2016, involving 56 international volunteers. Those discussions looked into the broader experience of students, from preparing their move to the UK to completing their assignment, from finding accommodation to socialising with friends, from their registration to their graduation.
2. International Student Survey:
Our international student survey was launched in November 2015 and closed on the 1st of March 2015, receiving 80 responses.
3. Visit students in halls and the community:
The outreach project, which ran alongside the focus group and interviews, consisted in two outreach reps visiting international students in halls and the community to ask them about their living experience. The outreach reps met 111 international students over the three cycles of the project.
The continuation of the project:
When we launched the international student project, our aim was to give a voice to international students so they could explain in their own words what made their experience either fantastic or difficult, isolating or empowering. It is commonly known that international students face many difficulties when adapting to a new learning and living environment. However, what international students have shared with us over eight months – through focus groups, interviews, outreach discussions and surveys – has been honest and enlightening.
LiverpoolSU has made recommendations to the university to enhance the international student experience and both LiverpoolSU and LJMU are working on implementing those recommendations.
LiverpoolSU would like to thank again all the international students involved in the project for their trust, honesty and enthusiasm!