International students have a substantial presence in western business schools. Yet, research on international students’ experiences remains sparse. Following recent calls to understand the international student–educational institution relationship, we examine the content, formation, and fulfilment of their psychological contract. We conduct a qualitative study of international students in two ... [Show full abstract] Australian business schools with large international student cohorts. The findings indicate that international students use social and institutional sources to create the contract, which, when fulfilled, leads to positive educational and psychological outcomes. Our research contributes to the business and international education literature by identifying the key content of the contract. We also highlight the interconnected roles of three tiers of the institution – academic staff, business school and university – in fulfilling the contract. Knowledge of international students’ psychological contract will help business schools better manage the student–institution relationship and create a sustainable international student expansion strategy.