Thursday, December 5, 2013

Addressing the needs of international students

Greetings from the Inaugural Student Experience Conference in Sydney, where Thomson Ch’ng, National President, Council of International Students Australia (CISA) is speaking on "Addressing the needs of international students to enhance their student experience". CISA was set up after in response to criticism of treatment of international students. There is a CISA Good Practice Program. One issue Thomson mentioned was the role of university agents, who help recruit international students.

Thomson pointed out that long induction presentations, with handouts, are not useful. It would seem to me obvious this should be "flipped", with the students getting the induction information on-line before they arrive and then just a question and answer when they arrive.

During this presentation it occurred to me that I am now an international student.I am enrolled in a course provided by a university in another country. Even thought I am not traveling to that country, there are some differences. One trivial difference is that my course is scheduled in what the university describes as "Winter 2014", even though for me it is high summer. While this is trivial, it would be good if the institution acknowledged its international students and used global terminology. More seriously, I don't exactly how large the course I have enrolled in is, as it is described in terms different to those used in Australian Higher Education.

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