This new report, http://media.prtl.eu/Key_Influencers_International_Student_Satisfaction.pdf, discusses “key influencers” of satisfaction of international students studying in Europe on short-term programs. As stated in the Preface: “The satisfaction levels of international students are much more dependent on personal development (“Personal growth”) and the non-academic environment (“City atmosphere”). This roughly ties in with the results of some 20 years of evaluation of the Erasmus Programme, which revealed that the major learning taking place was in soft areas, i.e. the learning of a new language, the acquisition of intercultural skills, personal maturing and learning in new social settings. We knew already that this is typical of temporary mobility (or credit mobility), where students go abroad for a semester or a year.”
The report shows that of the 1,480 respondents, only 1% cited “career prospects” as a “key influencer” with respect to the level of satisfaction they felt about their period of study. Academics ranked first – as it should…Nevertheless, I am a bit surprised at this finding in light of the severity of economic conditions in so much of Europe and the exceptionally high degree of unemployment in many countries of the EU.
I’d welcome comments from readers based in Europe.