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Nilsson, P. A., Westin, K. & Müller, D. K. (2019). Great expectations of studying abroad: Exchange students from Umeå University, Sweden. In: Michael Allison (Ed.), Exploring the opportunities and challenges of international students: (pp. 99-124). New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Great expectations of studying abroad: Exchange students from Umeå University, Sweden
2019 (English)In: Exploring the opportunities and challenges of international students / [ed] Michael Allison, New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2019, p. 99-124Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to investigate students’ expectations and experiences when studying abroad. A group of outbound exchange students at Umeå University, Sweden, were surveyed before and after the experience of studying in a foreign country. The study is based on a panel of 57 students, who answered one questionnaire prior to leaving for studies abroad and another after six months when most had returned to Sweden. Overall, the students were satisfied with their stay abroad. While the findings are partly in line with previous studies – the students expected to develop their language skills, learn more about another culture, develop as a person, and use the experience as a merit in their future career – this study also showed that in some aspects their perception of studying abroad changed. Perceptions that changed between the questionnaires concerned courses not being offered at Umeå University, more courses being available abroad than at home, and change of environment; the students appreciated this change more than they had expected. Moreover, the willingness to work abroad after finishing the studies was assessed lower upon the return home after the time abroad. Swedish outbound exchange students can be characterized as participants in horizontal mobility, as they expect a foreign higher education institution (HEI) to be of similar quality as their home university, thus emphasizing personal development more than academic achievement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2019
Series
Education in a Competitive and Globalizing World
Keywords
outbound students, student mobility, experiences and expectations, follow-up, Sweden
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-158999 (URN)978-1-53616-242-4 (ISBN)978-1-53616-241-7 (ISBN)
Note

Originally included in thesis in manuscript form.

Available from: 2019-05-16 Created: 2019-05-16 Last updated: 2019-08-23
Nilsson, P. A. & Stålnacke, B.-M. (2019). Life satisfaction among inbound university students in northern Sweden. Fennia, 197(1), 94-107
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Life satisfaction among inbound university students in northern Sweden
2019 (English)In: Fennia, E-ISSN 1798-5617, Vol. 197, no 1, p. 94-107Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Will life satisfaction among international students change after having an experience of studying abroad? Some previous studies indicate inequalities and issues of social mobility embedded in international student mobility. International student mobility implies physical movement and new experiences gained while studying abroad. The ubiquity of international students and their generally successful adaptation makes it necessary to understand how they manage to turn a seemingly difficult situation into satisfying adaptation. One area of such concern that this study sought to explore was the students’ level of satisfaction with life. This study investigated the self-reported life satisfaction of inbound university students upon arrival to a university in northern Sweden and at follow-up six months later. After the study period abroad, the students’ levels of perceived satisfaction with their somatic health and activities of daily living had significantly increased. Higher levels, while non-significant, were found for the domains life as a whole, study situation and economy. These findings may indicate that studying abroad could have an impact on students’ reported life satisfaction, which highlights the value of a period of studying abroad. However, when exploring life satisfaction outcomes among internationally mobile students, it seems pertinent to study student mobility within a context. This study mostly targets international student mobility in a Western/European contex

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Geographical Society of Finland, 2019
Keywords
Student mobility, life satisfaction, inbound students, Studentmobilitet, livstillfredsställelse, inresande studenter
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-158277 (URN)10.11143/fennia.70337 (DOI)000466176600007 ()
Available from: 2019-04-18 Created: 2019-04-18 Last updated: 2019-06-10Bibliographically approved
Nilsson, P. A. (2019). Studying abroad: exploring mobility, expectations and experiences among mobile students. (Doctoral dissertation). Umeå: Geografiska institutionen, Umeå universitet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Studying abroad: exploring mobility, expectations and experiences among mobile students
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis deals with the experiences and outcomes of temporarily studying abroad, via follow-up studies, aiming to explore international student mobility with a focus on the individual’s perspective. The specific research questions, dealing with the individual students’ expectations and experiences, are addressed in three papers. The fourth paper is a framing of these studies, using results from a global study.

The first research question connects to the attractiveness of international study experiences: Q1. What are the individual’s expectations for studying abroad, among inbound and outbound students, and what are the students’ reported experiences compared with these expectations? The second research question connects to the mobility culture of youth: Q2. Does students’ reported life satisfaction change in any way after studying abroad?

A main finding for outbound students was an appreciation of courses offered at the destination higher education institution that were not available at Umeå University. The students also had a desire to change their environment and have new experiences. Conversely, the desire to work abroad in the future was lower after returning home. A major finding for inbound students was that they assigned higher value to personal development than academic development. The experience made the students positive in regard to working abroad. Inbound students reported significantly higher satisfaction at follow-up six months later for the domains somatic health and activities of daily living. For both in- and outbound students, experiencing a new culture was more important than pure academic experiences.When the experience was compared with the expectation, in most cases the outcomes were positively related for both in- and outbound students. The motives for international study were primarily related to personal achievements, indicating a fulfilment of one’s potential and curiosity about a sojourn abroad.

Finally, the results from the Umeå studies were compared with a global survey. The Umeå studies shows that the respondents viewed studying abroad as an important experience and as a merit later in life. The global survey results indicate that the transition from education to the world of work is of increasing importance to students, and that it matters more for non-European students. The global study showed that employability, teaching ability, expert lectures, and course organization are important to international students.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Geografiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, 2019. p. 70
Series
GERUM, ISSN 1402-5205 ; 2019:2
Keywords
student mobility, inbound, outbound, exchange students, Sweden
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-159036 (URN)978-91-7855-040-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-06-14, S213H, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-05-24 Created: 2019-05-17 Last updated: 2019-05-27Bibliographically approved
Nilsson, P. A. (2017). The Swedish experience of international student mobility. In: Riikka Vanhanen, Helli Kitinoja, Jyrki Holappa (Ed.), Finnish universities of applied sciences on the verge of a new era: value, viability and visibility of international education (pp. 25-31). Jyväskylä: JAMK University of Applied Sciences Library
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Swedish experience of international student mobility
2017 (English)In: Finnish universities of applied sciences on the verge of a new era: value, viability and visibility of international education / [ed] Riikka Vanhanen, Helli Kitinoja, Jyrki Holappa, Jyväskylä: JAMK University of Applied Sciences Library , 2017, p. 25-31Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The internationalisation of education started in the late 1970s when the wording in the Swedish Higher Education Act was changed, emphasising that higher education institutions (HEI) should promote understanding of other countries and of international circumstances. This also opened the door for other changes in Swedish regulations, such as the study aid system, allowing more students to study abroad. However, the greatest boost to international student mobility was when Sweden entered the Erasmus Programme in 1992 (Lundgren & Nilsson, 2009).

It is clear that there are political ambitions when it comes to international student mobility. Politicians set the roles for mobility through political decisions about studying in a foreign country, regulations for migration, student loans, recognition for foreign degrees, etc. There is also a global education market being developed outside Sweden. More countries have an interest in the business of international education and the commodification of education due to a decrease of public HEI funding (Knight, 2012). This means that market solutions have entered the global scene, which countries around the world have to adjust to, including Sweden. The aim with this article is to highlight some of the Swedish experiences in regard to international student mobility.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jyväskylä: JAMK University of Applied Sciences Library, 2017
Series
Publications of JAMK University of Applied Sciences, ISSN 1456-2332 ; 236
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-140734 (URN)978-951-830-463-3 (ISBN)978-951-830-464-0 (ISBN)
Available from: 2017-10-18 Created: 2017-10-18 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved
Nilsson, P. A. & Ripmeester, N. (2016). International student expectations: career opportunities and employability. Journal of International Students, 6(2), 614-631
Open this publication in new window or tab >>International student expectations: career opportunities and employability
2016 (English)In: Journal of International Students, ISSN 2162-3104, Vol. 6, no 2, p. 614-631Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Are mobile students expecting an international experience to have an impact on their career? This was one of the questions in a global survey, with over 150,000 respondents. The survey results showed that the transition from education to the world of work is of increasing importance for students. How to find a job upon graduation is apparently a big concern for current-day students, which dictates their international educational choices to a large extent. Moreover, are there differences between Europe and the rest of the world when it comes to student’s expectations of employability? This study found that opportunities for work upon graduation and earning money when studying matter more for non-European students.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Journal of International Students, 2016
Keywords
International Student Barometer, StudentPulse, Employability, Studying Abroad, Career Opportunities, Cultural Competence, International Students, Student Expectations
National Category
Human Geography Pedagogy International Migration and Ethnic Relations
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-118763 (URN)000405899600014 ()881251 (Local ID)881251 (Archive number)881251 (OAI)
Available from: 2016-04-04 Created: 2016-04-04 Last updated: 2019-05-17Bibliographically approved
Nilsson, P. A. (2015). Expectations and experiences of inbound students: perspectives from Sweden. Journal of International Students, 5(2), 161-174
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Expectations and experiences of inbound students: perspectives from Sweden
2015 (English)In: Journal of International Students, ISSN 2162-3104, Vol. 5, no 2, p. 161-174Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper explores expectations and outcomes for inbound students at Umea University, Sweden, comparing their expectations with what they actually experienced. Based on an initial sample of 296 students, 116 answered surveys before and after experiencing of studying abroad. The same individuals have been followed. Most of the respondents' expectations were fulfilled. Hence, the comprehension of what to expect when it comes to 'personal' experiences was shown to be in line with the respondents' expectations. However, the 'academic' experiences seemed to be more difficult to grasp in advance. Some respondents also changed their opinions regarding some of their expectations. The study has followed the same individuals over time and adds new knowledge to the field of student mobility.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Monroe: Arkansas State University, 2015
Keywords
Inbound Students, Student Mobility, Experiences and Expectations, Sweden
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-102730 (URN)000436734000005 ()2-s2.0-84964046899 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2015-05-04 Created: 2015-05-04 Last updated: 2019-05-17Bibliographically approved
Nilsson, P. A. (2013). Expectations and experiences of temporarily studying abroad. Historia Revista da FLUP, 3, 183-198
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Expectations and experiences of temporarily studying abroad
2013 (English)In: Historia Revista da FLUP, Vol. 3, p. 183-198Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Porto, Portugal: , 2013
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-103902 (URN)881251 (Local ID)881251 (Archive number)881251 (OAI)
Available from: 2015-06-03 Created: 2015-06-03 Last updated: 2019-02-15Bibliographically approved
Nilsson, P. A. & Westin, L. (2005). Staden, universiteten och de internationella studenterna. PLAN (1), 12-15
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Staden, universiteten och de internationella studenterna
2005 (Swedish)In: PLAN, ISSN 0032-0560, no 1, p. 12-15Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Föreningen för Samhällsplanering, 2005
Keywords
Internationella studenter, städer, universitet
National Category
Economics Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-24816 (URN)
Available from: 2009-07-16 Created: 2009-07-16 Last updated: 2019-03-18Bibliographically approved
Nilsson, P. A. & Westin, L. (2004). Exemplet Northumbria University: Internationella studenter - en ny utmaning för universitetet och Umeåregionen. Västerbottens-Kuriren (4/12)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exemplet Northumbria University: Internationella studenter - en ny utmaning för universitetet och Umeåregionen
2004 (Swedish)In: Västerbottens-Kuriren, ISSN 1104-0246, no 4/12Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Stiftelsen VK-press, 2004
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-12279 (URN)
Available from: 2006-02-02 Created: 2006-02-02 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-7352-9971

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