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Keys to Success (Video 20)


What should staff do to make it easy for students to approach them? And how can they make international students feel welcome? Let’s ask a couple of staff.

Language and Learning Skills Advisor (International Student Services, QUT):
I think it is very important right at the beginning to convey a sense of welcome and through this to show students that there is a place, a physical place, but also a place within the community, in which they can participate and in which they can become legitimate members. Being a legitimate member of the workplace or the university is a very important first step - then moving on and participating in all the activities that the university or workplace provides.

Programs Educator (International College, QUT):
There are a number of reasons why students may ask questions multiple times or may ask different staff members the same questions and I always try put myself into a scenario where I’m in France and I want to know the way to somewhere and if I’m listening to a French person give me the answer I’m still not sure in myself that I’ve got it right and so I may walk down the street and confirm what the last person said with another person. So I think it’s that sense of confidence when you’re using a second language that you’ve actually heard it right the first time.

Language and Learning Skills Advisor (International Student Services, QUT):
I think it’s very important at the first meeting or as soon as possible after students enter the university, perhaps in their orientation week, perhaps in their first lecture week, that the ways that they can approach staff and the relationship that they are expected to establish with staff is discussed and they’re informed about the practical ways of arranging meetings and so on. I think it’s very important that it happens quickly, particularly for students who come from a cultural background where interaction with staff may be much more formal than in Australia.

Clinical Facilitator (School of Nursing and Midwifery, QUT):
For nursing staff to assist students I would really encourage them to be as patient as they can to understand that the students are struggling with language with listening to them. They need to be very clear and concise in their communication with the student. They can check and get the student to rephrase if they are unsure if the student has misunderstood. But I think above all, patience, and know- the more time spent with the student results in a confident student learning and growing and enjoying the workplace, enjoying the ward and ultimately being a great assistant to the registered nurse.

International Student Advisor (International Student Services, QUT):
Well for the staff I think it’s important that they are patient and they understand and they’re helpful and behave in a way that wouldn’t intimidate the student. And sometimes it’s just the body language, sometimes because of different cultures - we all do it unknowingly and so it’s good to be careful how we approach international students from different cultures.