Date of Award


Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Education (Primary) (Honours) BEd (Primary) (Hons)





First Advisor

Dr Cedric Greive


139999 Education not elsewhere classified


International students currently make up almost one fifth of students in Australia, and at Rural University. Because they are living and studying in a new and different culture, these students experience certain difficulties both socially and academically. While the government has established a set of regulations as a guide for universities catering for such students to ensure quality of services, competition has led individual universities to assess the quality of their institution as perceived by the students.

This study was a case study of the experiences of first year North American and Asian students at a rural university (code named Rural University). The data was collected through the process of audio-taped, semi-structured interviews that followed the conventions of Grounded Theory. Thematic analysis was used to establish the meaning contained within the transcripts of the interviews. The study revealed areas where students perceived more support to be needed at Rural University for international students to ensure that they enjoy a positive experience.

The experiences of Asian and North American students were found to have both similarities and differences. Both cultural groups felt that there was a need for more information concerning their accommodation and proposed course of study prior to their arrival, and both groups generally felt that the Australian culture was more laid back than their home cultures. Students from both groups felt that a more extensive cultural orientation was necessary. Both groups also supported the proposed implementation of a mentoring program and felt that this would have alleviated some difficulties they had experienced. However, there were concerns specific to each group. North American students experienced confusion concerning the grading system in use and desired more guidance with subject selection in the form of an academic advisor. Asian students experienced difficulties concerning the information pack due to English level and volume, while the North American students found it extremely useful. Participants also expressed a need for a form of used textbook bookstore and a more extensive range of Rural University souvenirs. Based on the findings of this research, recommendations were made to Rural University and also for future research.


Every effort has been made to contact the author of this thesis to gain their permission. If the author objects to this thesis being online please email

A print copy of this thesis is held in the Avondale College Library (SC Theses 378.1982691 R15).

Included in

Education Commons