It is a pleasure to be involved in this project for a number of reasons. Firstly, an online program will offer international students an accessible, highly functional and interactive means to understand the experience of transition to overseas study. Student users will identify their own needs and capabilities as they work through the material. Secondly, while most universities develop their own orientation and support programs, this program provides an efficient and effective means to reach student cohorts. It offers participating universities common and widely accepted content developed by specialised professionals. It also offers a means to maintain a standardised product that incorporates a broad set of activities and resources for their students. In addition, the program supports the Australian legislative framework that requires education providers to “assist overseas students to adjust to study and life in Australia and have appropriate orientation programs” (Standard 6, National Code 2018). Being part of the development team of this program by offering my experience and expertise is a rewarding and worthwhile undertaking.
I am involved in this project because I believe the more we can do for international students on arrival in Australia the better their experience will be. International students arrive at all different points in the year so I think having a resource that is practical and accessible at any time arrival is vital. I would like this program to be a friendly practical resource for students; something they can return to at different points when they need. I would also like this program to send a clear welcome message; something that says ‘we admire your drive in choosing to study in another country and want to do all we can to help you meet your goals’.
UKCISA is delighted to be working with Epigeum, part of Oxford University Press, to develop this engaging and informative resource for international students.