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Abstract

International students confront a range of challenges during their transition to living and studying in Australia. Despite these challenges over 80% of international students reported high satisfaction with their life and study within Australia. This qualitative study reports on the experiences of 53 first year international students at ECU. Participants were students from across a range of study areas who responded to an online or face to face survey. Participants were required to respond to four questions which were analysed thematically to provide a summary of their experiences. Survey questions included their positive and negative experiences of being a first year student at ECU and changes that they suggested be considered by the university. Thematic analysis revealed a range of issues, most of which were reflected in previous research, however a range of ECU specific issues were also revealed, for example, resources and timetabling. This introductory research has provided initial data for developing future research. The cognitive nature of the survey may have limited the responses of participants. It is recommended that future research consider interviews with international students to review social and emotional issues.

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