International Students by Treaty

Common Space, Different Vulnerabilities


  • Cherry-Ann Smart Information Smart Consulting



Caribbean, COVID-19, developing nations, higher education, international students, Looming Vulnerability, natural disaster, perception


Nonnational students in the Anglophone Caribbean are often affected by natural or man-made disasters that affect their experiences in the host country. However, the region had never experienced pandemic disasters such as COVID-19. Its occurrence highlighted latent concerns such as prejudices, border issues, and weak institutional support despite the existence of geopolitical treaties. Using the concept of the looming vulnerability framework, and incorporating a transformative lens, the research examined factors that contributed to these students’ vulnerabilities at institutions of higher education in the Caribbean during the pandemic. A qualitative research design using regional newspapers accounted for students’ collective voices. The results showed that nonnational students’ mental well-being was affected by factors including institutional role, management of communication, access to resources, their governments’ expression of financial support, and perceived discrimination from the host community. The article highlights the potential for students’ further marginalization in the absence of pragmatic disaster preparedness plans.

Author Biography

Cherry-Ann Smart, Information Smart Consulting

CHERRY-ANN SMART, PhD, is an independent researcher resident in Jamaica, West Indies. Her research interests focus on the international experience of Caribbean students, border issues as they affect human migration, social identity, inclusivity, and diversity in the field of information and the wider society. Email:



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How to Cite

Smart, C.-A. (2022). International Students by Treaty: Common Space, Different Vulnerabilities. Journal of International Students, 12(4), 909–932.



Research Articles (English)