The Experience of Australia’s International Students: High Risks and Desperately Seeking Associations

  • Peter Kell
  • Gillian Vogl
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 17)


This is a chapter that presents interviews from several research projects conducted in Australia by the authors and describes the experiences of international students, the majority are Asians. Some Australian students were also interviewed about their impressions of international students, and their experience of the impact of internationalization and global student mobility is documented. This chapter narrates in detail the experiences of students and ‘grounds’ the global events associated with global student mobility into vignettes and incidents in the national context of Australia. It provides some actual examples of how the theoretical notion of Beck’s ‘lives of one’s own’ plays out as students struggle to develop new friends and associates in what many see as an often strange and hostile new country. The chapter explores the spectrum of the interactions that Asian students encounter spanning ambiguity, harassment and assaults. The confusing and confronting expectations around academic performance, English proficiency and learning environments such as tutorials and group work are explored in detail through the narratives of students. The experiences also detail a growing affinity and identification with the host country and a growing sense of belonging and agency by some students involved in the research projects. The chapter documents the shifting notions of identity and affinity that students start to develop and their needs to be recognised as productive participants with agency and influence in their host communities.


International Student English Proficiency Chinese Student Host Community Asian Student 
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  6. Kell, P.M., & Vogl, G. (2008). Welcome to Wollongong IMB evaluation report, Unpublished report, University of Wollongong.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Kell
    • 1
  • Gillian Vogl
    • 2
  1. 1.School of EducationCharles Darwin UniversityCasuarinaAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Research on Social InclusionMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

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