Helping international students when they go home

An Australian degree does not always secure a seat on the gravy train when students return home. Ly Thi Tran (Deakin U) and colleagues report what can happen in Vietnam and offer ideas to improve the home-coming work experience

Professor Tran with Deakin U colleagues Huyen Bui and Mark Rahimi and George Tan from Charles Darwin  U report qualitative research with Vietnamese graduates of Australian institutions who went home. The researchers found the reasons grads cited most, were “challenges in gaining a foothold in Australia’s labour market” and prospects at home. However outcomes were not always as optimistically expected with employers favouring graduates of local institutions and people returning seeking jobs with multinational organisations.

The researchers suggest governments and host universities can help students who will go home with;

* work integrated learning and internships when they return

* host universities keeping students informed on labour markets

* helping students network at home while studying away, including via alumni

* embedding employability in curricula