Preliminary Insights into International Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Placements in Disability and Student Recommendations for Success
This pilot study explored the experiences of undergraduate students studying disability who undertook a three-week international Work Integrated Learning (WIL) placement in Brunei Darussalam. Presented are the students’ perspectives of the value of the international WIL and its impact on their personal and professional growth. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted and transcripts analysed using a thematic and iterative qualitative approach compatible with phenomenology. Three major themes exploring student experiences emerged: ‘valued experiences’, ‘cultural dissonance’ and ‘personal and professional growth’. Four recommendations relate to ‘selection interviews, comprehensive pre-departure sessions, accommodation, and quality university supervision’. Indicative findings suggest the placement had a valuable and positive impact on the students, increasing their cultural competence and assisting with their personal and professional growth. Additionally, the findings provide further insight on what makes international WIL placements successful and promotes optimal learning.