The differential impact of learning experiences on international student satisfaction and institutional recommendation




international students, learning experience, institutional recommendation, satisfaction surveys, international student experience


This research uses data from i-graduate’s International Student Barometer to investigate the impact of student learning experiences on institutional satisfaction and recommendation for degree-seeking international students. Analyses revealed that evaluations – i.e., how satisfied students are with their experience – are influenced by different learning experience variables from those that impact behavioral intentions – i.e., their willingness to recommend the institution. This study finds that, within the learning experience, ‘teaching’ variables (e.g., “quality of lectures”, “expertise of faculty”) mattered most for overall satisfaction, while ‘study’ variables that often center on later employment (e.g., “employability skills”, “work experience during studies”) predicted the propensity to recommend an institution. In addition, results demonstrated that what students value, in terms of their learning experience, varies significantly when student nationality and destination country are considered. Implications for international educators and researchers are discussed.


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Author Biographies

Ravichandran Ammigan, University of Delaware, USA

Ravichandran Ammigan, Ph.D., is Associate Deputy Provost for International Programs and Assistant Professor of Education at the University of Delaware, USA. His primary research focuses on the international student experience at institutions of higher education globally.

John Lawrence Dennis, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy

John L. Dennis, Ph.D., is an Affiliated Professor with the Centre for Higher Education Internationalisation, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, an Adjunct Professor at the University of Perugia, and a Visiting Professor at John Cabot University. As a Behavioral Scientist, he does research on how people intentionally influence their lives and behavior.

Elspeth Jones, Leeds Beckett University, UK

Elspeth Jones is Emerita Professor of the Internationalisation of Higher Education, Leeds Beckett University UK, and Honorary Visiting Fellow and member of the Scientific Committee, Centre for Higher Education Internationalisation (CHEI), Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan. She has published widely and is editor of the book series, Internationalization in Higher Education (Routledge).


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How to Cite

Ammigan, R., Dennis, J. L. ., & Jones, E. (2020). The differential impact of learning experiences on international student satisfaction and institutional recommendation. Journal of International Students, 11(2).



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