Internationalization at Home: Experiences and Preferences of Students Studying at a Dutch University of Applied Sciences
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Higher education institutions nowadays must prepare students for functioning in highly interconnected and global environments. According to Soria and Troisi (2014), students need to possess global, international, and intercultural (GII) competencies to be able to enter the labour market. One way to acquire these competencies is through study experience abroad. However, that is not feasible for the majority of students (Jones, 2013). In order to offer possibilities for all students to develop GII competencies, universities engage in internationalization at home (IaH) activities (Beelen & Leask, 2005). This research aimed to discover Dutch students’ experiences with IaH activities. The most valuable IaH activities in the eyes of the Dutch students were: comparing perspectives, having international guest lectures, mixing Dutch and international students in both mandatory and voluntary activities, and developing English language skills. Students who have no intention of working for an international company should be offered low-threshold activities instead of direct involvement with international students. The freedom of choice of every student should be respected based on their personality. More opportunities should be created where international and national students can get in contact in a meaningful manner for both parties.