Reflection on an Innovative International Partnership during the COVID-19 Pandemic


  • Ling Gao LeBeau
  • Fajun Zhang



partnership,, internationalization,, innovative,, higher education, international students, higher eduction, COVID-19, pandemic


This reflective essay discusses how Southwest University (China) created an innovative international partnership initiative with universities in Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. during the global pandemic. It articulates the context of the initiative, agreement establishment, program implementation, and lessons learned. This reflection aims to provoke deep thinking of how transformative international cooperation could help impact higher education internationalization.

Author Biographies

Ling Gao LeBeau

LING GAO LEBEAU (corresponding author), PhD, is Associate Director of International Student Success at Syracuse University. She is a scholar practitioner with years of experiences in teaching, research, and administration. Her IE experiences ranging from teaching, ISSS advising, directing study abroad, developing international partnerships, to leading campus internationalization. LeBeau serves on leadership committees of AIEA and NAFSA and publishes on international higher education. Email:

Fajun Zhang

FAJUN ZHANG is the founder of the SWU OLC program. He has years of experience in international education and publication administration. Besides the Director of the Office for International Cooperation and Exchanges at SWU from 2015 to 2020, he was also the Education Consul at the Consulate General of PRC in Vancouver, the Director of the Office for Publication Administration at Sichuan Provincial Government, the Dean of the International College at SWU. He is a current council member of the China Education Association for International Exchange and the Vice President of Chongqing Education Association for International Exchange. He became the President of the SWU Press in January 2021. Email:



De Wit, H. (2020). Business Model of Internationalization is Falling Apart. University World News.

Gatewood, J., & Sutton, S. (n.a.). Internationalization in action: International partnerships, part one: definition and dimensions. American Council on Education.

NAFSA (2020). Survey: Financial Impact of COVID-19 on International Education.

Sharma, Y. (2021). IAUP: Leading universities into a post-pandemic world. University World News.




How to Cite

LeBeau, L. G., & Zhang, F. (2022). Reflection on an Innovative International Partnership during the COVID-19 Pandemic . Journal of International Students, 12(S1), 125–129.