A Pedagogy of Student Mobility

Facilitating humanistic outcomes in internationalization and student mobility


  • William Geibel




Keywords: citizen diplomacy, higher education, international students, internationalization, student mobility, pedagogy, global outcomes, international education


Student mobility is often hailed for its contributions to certain student outcomes such as improved international understanding and awareness (i.e. humanistic outcomes). Yet despite the heavy reliance placed upon student mobility to produce these humanistic outcomes, little academic effort has been devoted to how these outcomes are attained and what the role of the university should be in facilitating such outcomes. Far too often, universities rely on a type of magical thinking that assumes humanistic outcomes simply by bringing international students onto their campuses. As a result, shortcomings in student mobility programs persist including social and physical separation of international and domestic students, a lack of interaction between these two groups and even, at times, negative interactions that undermine the goals of these programs. Therefore, in place of magical thinking, this paper presents a pedagogy of student mobility to guide how universities approach international student programs. By conceptualizing student mobility as an educational activity in which the university must play the role of facilitator, the pedagogy borrows from a range of educational theories and tools to put forth four tenets that can assist universities in overcoming current shortcomings and fulfill the potential of student mobility programs.


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How to Cite

Geibel, W. (2020). A Pedagogy of Student Mobility: Facilitating humanistic outcomes in internationalization and student mobility. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 12(Spring), 67–77. https://doi.org/10.32674/jcihe.v12iSpring.1271



Empirical Article