Sonnenschein, K., Barker, M., Hibbins, R. & Cain, M. (2017). “Practical experience is really important”: Perceptions of Chinese International students about the benefits of work integrated learning in their Australian Tourism and hospitality degrees. 19G. Barton, K. Hartwig. Professional learning in the work place for international students: Exploring theory and practice 259-275. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-60058-1_15
Chinese students make up the majority (25%) of international students studying in Australia (Department of Education and Training, Monthly summary of international student data, January 2016. Retrieved from https://internationaleducation.gov.au/research/International-Student-Data/Pages/default.aspx, 2016). Chinese students choose to study in Australia for a number of important reasons, including the perception that Australian higher education is of high quality, and potential improved career opportunities. Understanding the perceptions of Chinese international students’ experiences of Work Integrated Learning (WIL) as part of their studies is crucial for two important reasons: to inform more meaningful experiences for current and future cohorts and to ensure Australian universities remain a higher education destination of choice for Chinese students. This chapter explores the experiences of Chinese international students studying tourism and hotel/hospitality management within business degree programmes in a Queensland university. The findings of the interview study demonstrate Chinese international students have clear expectations about the outcomes of the WIL component in their chosen degree, including the ability of such experiences to bridge theory and practice and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for employability in their home country. These perceptions align with the university’s own stance on the importance of WIL for domestic and international students, as evidenced in its employability framework and internationalisation strategy. The chapter also outlines recommendations for universities for improved practice.
School of Education
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