Hear From Dr. Donna Velliaris

The Transformative Impact of Study Abroad

By Genevieve Robinson on Aug 26, 2022
Dr. Donna Velliaris  headshot
Dr. Donna Velliaris (Independent Scholar, Tokyo, Japan)
Amazing experiences await participants when they take the plunge to study or train in another country, not only enhancing the value of their qualification, but also embarking on a potentially life-changing and ‘transformative’ journey. With personal experience and research insight, expert Dr. Donna Velliaris, an esteemed IGI Global editor/author of six books and 30+ chapters, shares her inspiration in pursuing research in the field of study abroad and her recent publication Academic Mobility Programs and Engagement: Emerging Research and Opportunities in the interview below.
What inspired you to pursue research activities in your field?
Dr. Velliaris: The rising number and diversification of players in the international HE student market partly explains why countries are seeking innovative strategies to attract higher numbers of students. Unquestionably, higher education institutions (HEIs) across the globe are experiencing increased competition to attract foreign students. There is a need for (more) explicit knowledge about what underpins their decision to study abroad and the location they have selected.

For HEIs to be successful in attracting students, institutional enrollment management needs to understand the factors that impact student choice and tailor recruitment efforts and other marketing strategies to strengthen the chance of students selecting them. Growingly, students will take advantage of well-designed cross-cultural educational opportunities and, as greater numbers of aspirants seek out education abroad, it is imperative to learn from their experiences.

Relatedly, HE choice abroad is more complicated than in one’s ‘home’ context, as satisfying cultural and linguistic preferences, for example, as well as fulfilling many and varied admissions criteria, may restrict the range of HEIs from which students feel they can make a high-quality choice. Thus, managing and understanding students’ underpinning motivations will be ever more significant as demand for HE continues to grow—nationally and internationally—and HE delivery continues to evolve and expand into online, open access, on-campus and distance modes of study.

It is likely that I will never have enough time to experience as many study abroad opportunities as I would like, but those that I have experienced, have given me the opportunity to gain a grander understanding of our shared humanity and how it transcends borders.
Academic Mobility Programs and Engagement: Emerging Research and Opportunities
Prof. Donna Velliaris (Independent Scholar, Singapore)
©2020 | 263 pgs. | EISBN13: 9781799816096
  • Receive 10% off the e-Book Pricing through the end of December 2022
  • Suitable for Counselors, Student Services Admin, & program developers
  • Covers Topics such as Exchange Students, Healthcare,
    & 2nd Language Learning
  • Excellent Addition to Your Institution's Library
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What is the focus of your publication, Academic Mobility Programs and Engagement: Emerging Research and Opportunities?
Dr. Velliaris: Given the sharp increase in the number of exchange programs in recent years, the benefit(s) derived by higher education (HE) students from study abroad merits greater investigation. This book presents seven expert chapters offering research on programs/initiatives related to student mobility, cross cultural competency, and the recruitment marketplace. The thread that binds these chapters together is the underlying notion that study abroad experiences, if implemented well, are fundamentally inspiring, enriching, and transformative.
What will readers learn from your publication?
Dr. Velliaris: The overall upsurge in study abroad participation may well be attributable to the availability of shorter programs, as campuses move beyond a one-size-fits-all approach to one that provides opportunities through flexibility. Short-term programs cost less and so may be accessible to more students, therein acting as a springboard for potential future and other transformative learning experiences.

Irrespective of the program length, studies show that study abroad is related to heightened academic performance, interdisciplinary learning, graduation rates, practical travel skills, self-knowledge, and sensitivity to foreign contexts. It also enhances job prospects, as employers desire graduates who have experiences that reflect their ability to adapt to unfamiliar situations, interact with other cultures, and exhibit intercultural understanding.
What are some of the benefits of your research to the academic community?
Dr. Velliaris: As the HE student population continues to grow more diverse, it is incumbent upon the community to (re)consider the contexts from which students come and recognize that their pre-enrolment capital will shape how they engage with the educational opportunities available to them. If HEIs are to succeed in the long-term, they must identify the attributes that potential students consider important/imperative when choosing an overseas HEI for pursuing their tertiary-level studies.

Featuring a range of topics such as healthcare, cultural responsiveness, and teacher education, this book is ideal for HEIs, faculty, cross-cultural trainers, government officials, counselors, student services administrators, policymakers, program developers, administrators, academicians, educators, researchers, and students.
What has your experience been like publishing with IGI Global overall?
Dr. Velliaris: Since my first publication with IGI Global, a chapter titled ‘Getting Personal: An Autoethnographic Study of the Professional Identit(ies) of Lecturers in an Australian Pathway Institution’, in the publication Cases on Teacher Identity, Diversity, and Cognition in Higher Education (2014), I have found that publishing my research with IGI Global has been a positive experience. Chronologically, this is my fifth edited book with IGI Global following the titles: (I) Handbook of Research on Study Abroad Programs and Outbound Mobility (2016); (II) Handbook of Research on Academic Misconduct in Higher Education (2016); (III) Study Abroad Contexts for Enhanced Foreign Language Learning (2017); and (IV) Prevention and Detection of Academic Misconduct in Higher Education (2019).
About IGI Global

Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA with a subsidiary office (IGI Science and Technology, Ltd.), operating out of Beijing, China, IGI Global is a leading medium-sized independent academic publisher of international scientific research. They are committed to facilitating the discovery of pioneering research that enhances and expands the body of knowledge available to the research community through traditional and open access publishing workflows. Working in close collaboration with expert researchers and professionals from leading institutions, IGI Global publishes quality peer-reviewed content across 350+ topics in 11 core subject areas, including business, computer science, education, engineering, healthcare, social sciences, and more. With over 150,000+ industry-leading researchers and experts worldwide contributing to IGI Global’s publications, they ensure that each contains the most emerging and timeliest research. Learn more about IGI Global here.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of IGI Global.

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