This paper investigates the benefits of overseas tertiary education for international postgraduate students enrolled at a research-intensive university in Malaysia, an emerging yet under-researched Asian education hub. The study is based on 55 semi-structured qualitative interviews with international students and academic and professional support staff. Our analysis identified three sets of benefits linked to specific economic, educational, social and cultural pull factors: academic success, building knowledge and skills, and contributing to home country on return. Our analysis illustrates the interplay between macro and meso-level actors and policies in shaping the micro-level experiences of international students. The paper contributes new insights into vital nuances in the nature and lived experience of the key benefits of international education relating to academic success and time, language learning and friendship, and employability and ‘giving back’.
- International students
- Study abroad