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How to Gather Feedback from International Students to Improve Your University’s Program

With May just around the corner, the Spring semester is about to come to a close. For your international students who started in the Fall, this may mean that their time at your university is coming to a close as well. In order to best serve future students in this program, getting students’ feedback about their experience at your institution is vital. This feedback will help you not only see where you can improve in future years, but it will also provide insight into the things you do really well so that you can continue to offer the same experiences in the future, too.

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There are several ways you can get this feedback from outgoing international students, depending on how your university wishes to gather the data. One method is to simply administer a student satisfaction/exit survey, or you could also meet in focus groups to discuss feedback in person and ask follow-up questions. Other options might be to send a questionnaire via email or offer a telephone interview to have a conversation about their experience.

No matter which method you choose to obtain their feedback, you may wish to include questions about their experience in the classroom, both with their professors and other students, as well as content within the courses they took throughout the year. You can also use this opportunity to determine how often these students utilized different resources on campus, allowing you to decide whether or not specific resources are worth maintaining or if you should perhaps promote the resources better. Allow students to provide feedback on what they would have liked as a resource that was not available as well.

Be sure to give these international students the opportunity to speak freely when providing feedback instead of just answering “yes” or “no” or selecting a numeric rating for each question. A section where they can expand on their answers (or discuss further in oral situations) is crucial to being able to learn the most about student experiences.

Once you have the information from these surveys/discussions, utilize it to continually make improvements to your international student program. Let the students know why you are collecting the data so that they know their voices are being heard and future students can benefit from this program even more in the future. Making constant improvements in this way will help your university become a premier institution for incoming students, who will be excited to study with you, knowing how much you care about their experience.