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Promoting International Student Mobility for Sustainability? Navigating Conflicting Realities and Emotions of International Educators

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-12-28, 15:10 authored by Anne CampbellAnne Campbell, Thi Nguyen, Maia Stewart

 In international education, climate change is an increasingly prominent consideration. International mobility contributes to global carbon emissions yet provides students with skills and knowledge to address climate change. Based on interviews with 17 indi- viduals working in international education, this qualitative study illuminates how interna- tional educators view climate change: both as a threat and an opportunity for the field. When considering and mitigating international education’s carbon emissions, interview- ees reported mostly negative emotions: feeling stuck, frustrated, and overwhelmed. Interviewees also noted difficulties in logically and ethically reconciling the relationship, especially with student mobility as a key component of international education, providing several rationales for expanding international education to promote social and environ- mental justice. Notably, interviewees called for a reimagining of the field with more virtual exchanges and less air travel. Findings aim to inform higher education internationalization efforts – and student mobility specifically – in a time of climate crisis. 


Middlebury Institute’s Academic Excellence Fund

Joseph and Sheila Mark Faculty Development Fund



Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Department or Program

International Education Management