Member stories: embracing the ‘international’

Member stories: embracing the ‘international’

Read the story of an EAIE member who is actively working to create more rewarding student mobility programmes. In this next post, Natalie Nielsen, one of the EAIE Expert Community Economics and Business Studies’ newly elected Steering group members, tells us about what triggered her interest in international education and how that has now led to her current PhD.


What is your role at your institution?

I worked as the Director of International Affairs at Stockholm Business School at Stockholm University for six years and am now on leave to do my PhD within International Education. The focus of my PhD is the impact of mobility programmes and student learning. My interest in this topic comes from working with mobility programmes and witnessing the positive impact that a mobility period abroad has had on students’ lives and learning, specifically to their own personal development. I believe we need to listen more carefully to what students have to say about the impact of mobility programmes to create more qualitative programmes.

Why did you decide to start working in the field of international higher education?

The ‘international’ has always been present in my life in one form or another. With parents from Europe and the USA, I have moved, studied and travelled extensively throughout my life. The experience of studying in different countries, specifically at university level, fuelled my interest in the topic of international education and it is a field that is changing and growing fast. It is simply fascinating!

What do you find most rewarding about your job?

In my role as the Director of International Affairs, I enjoyed working with partner universities to develop opportunities for students go abroad on exchange and following the process from beginning to end. In my current role as a PhD student, I enjoy getting deeper into the topic of mobility and examining what institutions can do for a more qualitative experience in the area of mobility programmes.

What words of wisdom do you have for those starting in the higher education industry?

The higher education field has so much to offer whether working ‘domestically’ or internationally. It is an area of growth and change and it is possible to develop professionally in so many ways. The EAIE is a wonderful organisation to this end.

What is a little known fact about you?

I love to dance, especially salsa!