08 Dec 2021

Rajika Bhandari: A life in international education

Reflections on a life in international education


Traditionally, major international student receiver countries like the US have enrolled international students by the tens of thousands. Many of these mobile students have opted to stay in their host countries, contributing to national stocks of highly skilled professionals and sustaining economic growth. The general arc of this phenomenon, and its scale in numbers, has been well documented for decades. However, the stories of the individuals living through these experiences have been much less apparent. 

In this episode, Rajika Bhandari, an international higher education expert and specialist on international student mobility as well as a former international student and skilled migrant to the United States, reflects with us on her experiences of living through these complex dynamics and what she has learned about the power and relevance of storytelling in our field today.

About Rajika Bhandari

Rajika Bhandari is a scholar-practitioner in international higher education, expert on international student issues and global talent and skilled mobility. Through Rajika Bhandari Advisors, she offers strategic guidance to nonprofits, multilateral organizations, and higher education institutions globally. She previously led the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) research, evaluation and thought leadership portfolio, including the Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. Her new book, America Calling: A Foreign Student in a Country of Possibility was published earlier this year.

Further reading

For further insights into the topics touched on in this episode, the following resources may be of interest:

→ Rajika Bhandari’s website

Rewriting the narrative of the international student experience by Kara Golembeski

America Calling: The Legacy Of Barack Obama, Kamala Harris, And A Million Students by Rajika Bhandari


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