I AM Talent

I AM Talent is one of the tool created by Fontys within the INTERLOCALITY consortium for international students and recent graduates. It consists of an extended questionnaire which has two purposes: it is a diagnostic tool for international students and alumni, and it is a monitoring tool for higher education institutes. 

By filling in the survey, I AM Talent gives international students and alumni information about their own employability and how to improve their career competencies in order to successfully (re-)enter the local labour market, or how to improve the fit to their current job in the host country. 

I AM Talent also sheds light on the extent to which higher education institutions adequately prepare international students for the local labour market. The survey provides a wealth of information for higher education institutes, for example which jobs international students and alumni fulfil, how employable they assess themselves to be, and their intention to stay in the country after graduation. This way, I AM Talent provides a detailed overview of the career steps that international students and alumni take when entering the labour market.


The survey tool was piloted by Fontys and Arcada between November 2023 and March 2024. Around a hundred international students and alumni filled in the survey. Their participation gives a great insight into the score of international students on the seven career competencies that were identified as essential for their employability (see theoretical framework of I AM Talent). 

It was found that the international students and alumni who participated scored high on Intercultural Sensitivity. This is not surprising given the fact that they have been exposed to multiple cultures, both from their home country and the host country where they study/studied. Living and studying in a foreign country requires adapting to new cultural norms, values, and practices. This exposure fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation of cultural differences. 

However, the international students and alumni who participated in the pilot seem to have a relatively low score on Networking. This is also not surprising, since internationals often arrive in the host country with few, if any, existing local professional connections. Building a network from scratch in a foreign environment can be challenging and time-consuming. Also, differences in cultural norms and language proficiency can hinder effective networking. Understanding and adapting to local networking practices may take time, and language barriers can limit their ability to engage fully in networking opportunities.

The career competencies Career Control and Work Exploration also leave room for improvement. International students are less familiar with the job market dynamics, hiring processes, and industry expectations in the host country. This lack of familiarity can make it difficult to navigate job searches, explore career opportunities effectively and make a successful career plan.   

Availability of tool

These pilot results show that there is still work to do for HEI’s in supporting international students developing their employability. The I AM Talent tool can help create awareness about the different career competencies needed to succeed on the local job market, and how to improve them. 

The I AM Talent Survey Tool will be made available soon in three different forms: 

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