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Why do international students leave U.S. institutions of higher education before completing a degree? What are some methods that would help them to stay?

NAFSA sought answers to these questions through the research study, "Bridging the Gap: Recruitment and Retention to Improve International Student Experience."

Recent increased enrollment of undergraduate international students in the U.S. has focused higher education administrators on the retention efforts for this population. The new research reveals a disparity in the perspective of institutions and students on the reasons why students leave their institution of first enrollment, and offers a number of best practices to help combat poor retention.


  • Hear the results of NAFSA’s original research on undergraduate international student retention
  • Increase awareness of international student retention issues
  • Discover campus programming aimed at improving retention for international students
  • Assess what this information means for your campus retention efforts and future planning

Principal investigator, Rahul Choudaha, chief knowledge officer and senior director of strategic development for World Education Services’ Research Advisory Services team, shares his results. He is joined by Rachel Errington, director of the International Student Office at the University of West Florida, who shares how her campus has improved their international student retention rate.

Invite your international enrollment managers, retention officers, and international student advising team to participate. Sharing NAFSA webinars is a cost-effective method of staying up-to-date on the hottest topics facing the field today. Show the webinar in a room with a projector, and you can invite as many attendees as you wish for the price of one registration! Not able to attend? Purchase the recording for future use.


Rahul ChoudahaRahul Choudaha
World Education Services

Rahul Choudaha is chief knowledge officer and senior director of strategic development at World Education Services. Choudaha specializes in student mobility trends with implications for enrollment management and transnational education strategies. He serves as a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Studies in International Education and as the chair-elect of NAFSA’s International Education Leadership Knowledge Community. Choudaha earned a PhD in higher education from the University of Denver, and a master’s degree in management and a bachelor of engineering degree from India.

Rachel ErringtonRachel Errington
University of West Florida

Rachel Errington is the director of the International Student Office for the University of West Florida’s Office of Diversity and International Education and Programs. She earned a BA in public relations and a MA in strategic communication and leadership, both from the University of West Florida. She is currently pursuing a doctorate of education, with a focus in diversity studies. She has been active in the area of international education for more than 8 years and is currently the chair-elect for the Florida Association of International Educators and the Gulf Coast Citizen Diplomacy Council.