Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Supervisor

Dawn Darlaston-Jones

Second Supervisor

Dr Lynne Cohen


The number of international students studying in Australia has steadily increased over the last ten years providing many benefits both to the country and Australian universities. However, little is known about the transition experiences of these students and there has been little acknowledgment of the issues facing students adjusting to a new environment and learning context. Typical issues that international students encounter include; language difficulties, homesickness, culture shock, lack of background knowledge and skills, housing difficulties, developing new social relationships and adapting to their new environment. Much of the research has been in the form of questionnaires and surveys focusing on academic issues, for instance, language skill, learning style and class participation. However, recent research suggests that social and cultural issues such as mixing with Australians, making new friends and functioning in a foreign country are of greater concern to international students. This review explores the major findings relating to students studying abroad and the future direction of research in this field.