Research Centre for Learning and Teaching

Staff Profile

Dr Alina Schartner

Senior Lecturer



After graduating with an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Salzburg in Austria, I went on to study for a MA in Cross-Cultural Communication and Education at Newcastle University. I subsequently studied for a PhD at ECLS, investigating the intercultural adjustment and adaptation of international postgraduate students in the UK. I completed my PhD in February 2014. 

I was appointed Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at Newcastle University in June 2015, having previously worked as a Research Associate at the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching (CfLaT).

Memberships and professional networks:

  • British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL)
  • Society for Research in Higher Education (SRHE)
  • British Educational Research Association (BERA)
  • International Association of Language and Social Psychology (IALSP) - three-year term as Secretary (2014-2017).
  • Global Collective for Study Abroad Researchers and Administrators 
  • Critical Internationalization Studies Network (CISN)

Esteem indicators: 

In June 2016 I was awarded the James J Bradac Early Career Prize for my work on the international student experience.

Editorial Board Member for the newly established open-access journal 'Trends in Higher Education' 

Current leadership roles: 

Head of the Applied Linguistics and Communication subject area

I am currently Degree Programme Director (DPD) for the MA Cross-Cultural Communication programmes. 

Recent blog posts:

How to help international students bounce back from Covid-19 | Wonkhe 

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the academic, psychological and sociocultural adaptation of international students in the UK | BERA 




My research interests focus mainly on transnational mobility, in particular the lived experiences of internationally mobile individuals and groups. I am especially interested in the internationalisation of higher education and international student mobility.

Current funded research:

Principal investigator (with Dr Sam Shields):

'A mixed-methods study of the experiences of international students from the 'Global South' in the UK, US, Australia, Kazakhstan, China, and Portugal' funded by the NU HaSS Faculty Bid Prep Fund (08/23 - 05/24)

Recent funded research: 

Principal investigator (with Dr Sam Shields):

'A mixed-methods exploratory study of the university experiences of working-class international students in UK universities' funded by the NU HaSS Faculty Research Fund (2022-2023)


  • Global Citizenship and Multilingual Competences (GCMC), Erasmus Strategic Partnership (2020-2023): 

Principal investigator: 

The 'international student experience' in 2021: The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the academic, psychological and sociocultural adjustment of international students in the UK' funded by the NU Institute for Social Science. 

A research briefing reporting on key findings from this project can be accessed here


  • Critical Skills for Life and Work (CSLW): Developing the Professional Intercultural Communicative Competence of Highly Skilled Refugees, Erasmus Strategic Partnership (2017-2019): 
  • Approaches and Tools for Internationalisation at Home (ATIAH), Erasmus Strategic Partnership (2016-2018): 

Doctoral supervision: 

I am happy to supervise doctoral research in the following areas: internationalisation in higher education, international student adjustment and adaptation, intercultural transitions in internationally mobile individuals. I offer expertise in mixed-methods research using both qualitative and quantitative methods of enquiry (e.g. interviews, focus groups, surveys and questionnaires). 

Current PhD projects I supervise: 

  • The impact of social contact and vocabulary knowledge on intercultural competence, Dunia Alghamdi  
  • Cross-cultural adaptation of Saudi Arabian international ESL students in UK higher education, Fatimah Alsaadi
  • Exploring the level of intercultural competence and language proficiency as factors in international students' adjustment in the UK and KSA, Amjad Almeshal
  • Improving the personal creativity of international higher education business students, John Reilly O'Donnell

Successfully completed PhD projects under my supervision:

  • International students: the jewel in the crown for higher education in preparing the global leader, Joanne Rush (2022)
  • Understanding international postgraduate students' adjustment in a British university: motivations for study abroad and subsequent academic, sociocultural and psychological experiences, Xuan Zhao (2021)
  • Cross-cultural adaptation and identity change: A study of Asian student sojourners in the UK, Hanh Pho (2021)
  • Internationalisation and students' intercultural competence development, Yuwei Liang (2019) 
  • A study of international Vietnamese undergraduate students' psychological, sociocultural and academic adaptation and adjustment at a higher education institution in Thailand, Nattaya Srisakda (2018)

I am a regular academic reviewer for several journals, including:

  • European Education
  • European Journal of Higher Education
  • MDPI (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute)
  • Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 
  • International Journal of Intercultural Relations 


In 2023-24 I will be module leader for:

  • ALC8013 Introduction to Intercultural Communication (Semester 1)
  • ALC8007 Professional Communication in Intercultural Settings (Semester 2)

I also contribute sessions to the following modules:

  • ALC8003 Research Portfolio (Semesters 1 and 2)

Teaching and scholarship related activities:

  • Virtual exchange project with Indian University-Purdue University Columbus on 'critical intercultural incidents' (March 2023), funded by the NU Virtual Exchange Fund 
  • Development of intercultural orientation workshops for students on the MA CCC programmes (June-December 2022), funded by the NU Education Development Fund 
  • Intercultural orientation workshops funded by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA)