The Impact of Covid-19 on International Student Support

A Global Perspective


  • Lisa Bardill Moscaritolo American University of Sharjah
  • Brett Perozzi Weber State University
  • Birgit Schreiber Africa Centre for Transregional Research at Freiburg University
  • Thierry Luescher Human Sciences Research Council



COVID-19, international students, student affairs services, student support, mobility


The COVID-19 pandemic caused unique challenges to international students. Student Affairs and Services (SAS) across the higher education sector played a key role in supporting students and institutions during the pandemic. This article reports the findings of an exploratory survey with SAS practitioners from around the globe on the ways in which SAS responded to the pandemic and sought to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on students in general and international students specifically. The results demonstrate that international students were among the primary groups of students impacted by the pandemic. Specific challenges identified include mental wellbeing, inability to return home, financial hardships, fear, and uncertainty. Discrimination of certain groups was also noted. SAS intervened to assist international students in navigating these challenges across world regions, including services declared essential for international student support. Finally, financial implications and the future of international student support are explored.

Author Biographies

Lisa Bardill Moscaritolo, American University of Sharjah

Lisa Bardill Moscaritolo (PhD) is Vice Provost for Student Life at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. Her research interests are on internationalization of student affairs and services and comparative student affairs work. She has presented and consulted for professional associations and institutions around the world

Brett Perozzi, Weber State University

Brett Perozzi (PhD) is Vice President for Student Affairs at Weber State University in the United States. Dr. Perozzi has authored dozens of publications, in journals, textbooks, monographs, and book chapters. He has published three books, two on the topic of international student affairs and services, and one on student employment during college. He has been invited to speak and present on higher education topics worldwide.

Birgit Schreiber, Africa Centre for Transregional Research at Freiburg University

Birgit Schreiber (PhD) is a member of the Africa Centre for Transregional Research at Freiburg University, Germany, and has worked in senior leadership positions in Universities in South Africa and abroad. Birgit has published over 50 articles and chapters on topics of social justice, student affairs, student engagement and higher education policy. She has presented papers and key notes at national and international conferences and consulted to national organisations on quality assurance, curriculum development and policy related matters.

Thierry Luescher, Human Sciences Research Council

Thierry M. Luescher (PhD) is Research Director for Post-schooling and Work in the Human Sciences Research Council and affiliate Associate Professor of Higher Education at the University of the Free State, South Africa. He is an NRF-rated researcher with specific expertise in African higher education development, higher education governance, the student experience and student politics.



How to Cite

Bardill Moscaritolo, L., Perozzi, B., Schreiber, B., & Luescher, T. (2021). The Impact of Covid-19 on International Student Support: A Global Perspective. Journal of International Students, 12(2).



Research Articles