Swinburne University of Technology Internationalization and Integration Project
Helen Kalaboukas, Katherine Yannakis, Liza Ng, Michele Kemm, Taeko Sakurai, Theresa Savage
Abstract: Swinburne Integration and Internationalisation Program (IIP) was a joint project between Student Services, the International Student Unit and the Japanese Department. The need for greater internationalization and integration was identified by the Counselling Department and a specific program was designed to address this need.
The aims of the IIP were to decrease isolation and segregation, increase cultural awareness; and enhance intercultural interaction amongst International students. Overall the program aimed to assist students to improve their personal, social and vocational skills.
The IIP consisted of four one-hour workshops. 70 International, exchange, local, TAFE, and Higher Ed students took part in the program. Activities included in the workshops were: cultural awareness tasks, Japanese language tasks and social activities. The overwhelming responses from students were all very positive and participants expressed keen interest in taking part in programs such as this in the future.
Keywords: Student support, internationalisation, intercultural, integration, cultural, awareness
Initiating the new battlers
Helen Farrell, Cristina Pastore, Neera Handa, Joanne Dearlove, Ed Spalding
Abstract: Peer mentoring, a collaborative program offered at University of Western Sydney, may enhance the educational outcomes and the first year experience of many first year university students. Learning Advisors, Counsellors and academics work together to train and support peer mentors from various Schools within the University. In training mentors, lecturing and content teaching is kept to a minimum. The group process, that is most used in the training of student peer mentors at UWS, is modelling of desired behaviours followed by opportunities for the trainee mentors to strengthen their skills by role rehearsal exercises in which mentors work towards facilitating cooperation, teamwork, joint responsibility and non-directive task oriented activity. This is followed by exercises that teach appropriate group facilitation techniques and finally by trainees preparing and running their own mentoring sessions.
This paper discusses the processes and benefits of this program for the mentees as well as the mentors using the program conducted at UWS as an example. The paper also suggests that mentoring is a suitable strategy for improving the first year experience of international students beginning university in Australia.
Key Words: Peer mentoring, transition, integrated academic support programs, international students.
Enriching international education with socio-cultural development
Wesa Chau and Paul Fan
Abstract: Literally, ‘International Education’ merely represents the pursuit of studies in a foreign educational institution. While this may be an accurate summary of the primary purpose of many overseas students, the description clearly does not accord full effect to the word ‘International’. Australia prides itself as being a multicultural society; and the meaning of ‘International Education’ is accordingly expansive and encompasses such diverse experiences as community events hosted by the government, city councils, corporate bodies and student organisations.
These events are often widely promoted, and while the students are not obliged to participate, many choose to attend. The presentation will endeavour to explore some of the reasons why this may be so and why socio-cultural development is an important dimension in international education from the perspectives of international students, local students and the general community.
Key Words: Student Clubs and Societies (C&S), Cultural activities, Student satisfaction,Cultural diversity, Community participation
Evaluating the QUT Homestay Program
Abstract: The QUT Homestay Program is an essential part of the university’s commitment to meet the accommodation needs of international students. Despite the importance of this style of accommodation, there is very little research addressing issues related to homestay arrangements. The program at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) was evaluated in 2002 to develop a continuous improvement framework to ensure provision of quality homestay services to international students.
This paper presents an overview of the evaluation and key lessons learnt in providing quality homestay services to international students. It will cover social and cross-cultural issues faced by providers and international students in the homestay environment, the homestay support needs, program information, policies, procedures and code of practice governing the program.
Key Words: Homestay accommodation, program evaluation, homestay providers, international students, cross-cultural issues
Enhancing the International Student cultural experience - International Student Activities
Mr Ian Egan
Abstract: For many International Students, “Seeing Australia” is a top priority alongside their academic ventures. Swinburne University recognised this need and over the past 7 years, have developed a comprehensive International Student Activities program. Activities take the form of course-based day trips through to organised programs that run over the whole semester. In this paper we will draw on the experiences of the Swinburne Activities Model and cover such topics as: the benefits of running activities in-house, coming up with suitable ideas, choosing the best times of year to run them, planning tips on the day and gathering feedback.
Keywords: International students, activities, programs, student support, transition