Edith Cowan University, Western Australia in association with Khon Kaen University, Thailand and Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University, Thailand.
Within the broad scope of literature addressing the issue of student experience very limited attention has been given to examining the particular issues impacting international students. This paper draws attention to transition as an aspect impacting the international postgraduate (IP) student experience within a School of Computer and Information Science with a high proportion of IP students (65-75%). Literature relating to both, first year experience and international onshore education provided a frame of reference for a pilot survey (N=58) investigating student perceptions and attitudes on choice of study destination; academic orientation, application and coping; future orientation; social integration and belonging; university structures and processes; peer engagement, and course satisfaction. This paper discusses the issues of academic and social integration. While the findings suggest a positive overall IP student experience, critical areas for improvement in transitional support were identified to enhance both academic and social integration. The recommended transition strategies include implementation of course specific academic orientation programmes, integration of academic, research and generic skills development into the curriculum, provision of English language development resources, initiatives to raise staff awareness and promote cross cultural sensitivity within the teaching and learning environment, and incorporation of a range of ongoing social activities to promote staff-student and student-student interaction, communication and belonging.