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International students

Students in lectureInternational students often navigate a new education system using a non-native language and have limited networks for local support. No wonder they sometimes feel overwhelmed.

  • Providing examples of all key expectations in a unit of study will help international students contextualise information.
  • Openly describing cultural/individual differences in learning styles, team work, and approach to information helps everyone feel valued and creates understanding between students.
  • Collaboration with tutors will increase understanding of how international students are integrating with their peers and identifying areas where they may be struggling.


International students often have an equal amount of opinions to local students, but they may not be as quick or as confident to express them.

Without a shared educational background, only very few assumptions can be made of how different key concepts are interpreted by international students. Independent thinking, critical evaluation, team work, or deep respect for others can have multiple meanings.


  • Provide examples of good and poor student work from previous years with an explanation of what is being assessed. When you see a particularly good exemplar of work, always ask student's permission to share it anonymously with other students. You may want to develop examples of poor work yourself.
  • Meet with tutors regularly during the semester and discuss specifically the experiences of international students. Tutors both see close-up what is happening and can be instrumental in helping international students to have a great learning experience.

Further resources