Reverse mobility is the phenomenon through which students from developed countries undertake international study experience or internships in developing countries. As a government signature initiative of mobility and public diplomacy commenced in 2014, the New Colombo Plan will have sent about 31,000 Australian students to study and undertake internships across 35 countries in the Indo-Pacific by the end of 2018.

Our new article analysed the impact of the New Colombo Plan experience on Australian students' career and life orientation, their definition and re-definition of both personal and professional identities and their connection with the Indo-Pacific. The article introduced the concepts ‘mobility as becoming’ and ‘mobility as connecting’ for understanding Australian students’ learning and engagement with Asia. This is part of a pilot study and a subsequent Future Fellowship project led by Ly Tran on students' learning in and engagement with Asia through the New Colombo Plan funded by the Australian Research Council. The full content of the paper can be accessed via the link:

The number of Australian students studying overseas during their undergraduate years has increased rapidly over the past decade, with one in five undertaking learning abroad. A national investigation into the learning and cultural experiences of Australian students in Asia will examine how international study affects formation of their identity, career directions and future aspirations.

Led by Professor Ly Tran, from Deakin University’s Research for Educational Impact Strategic Research Centre (REDI), the “New Colombo Plan: Australian students’ learning and engagement with Asia” will also explore how students’ insights and understanding of Asia as a result of their experiences can contribute to public diplomacy and inform higher education policy.

Read the complete article at Deakin University.


Global connectivity is at the heart of UQ’s vision to create knowledge leadership for a better world. Partnering with leading research institutions, government bodies and community groups around the world – particularly with our neighbours in the Indo-Pacific – is helping us find solutions to the biggest challenges of our time including coral reef conservation, sustainable energy, and disease control.

international trends in learning abroad

The broad benefits of international student mobility are now well understood globally and learning abroad is a major focus of most higher education institutions’ internationalisation strategies.

The growing recognition of the broad individual and national benefits has led many nations with traditionally low rates of outbound student mobility, including Australia, to adopt policies and practices that promote learning abroad.

This report provides an overview of international learning abroad trends, with a focus on intra-degree outbound mobility. It aims to examine different policy approaches – including government and institutional policies and practices – that encourage more students’ engagement in international experience during their higher education programs.

Download the report from the page below.

IEAA Learning Abroad reports