Sarah List (UniSA) & Julia Miller (University of Adelaide)
Date: Thursday September 5
Venue: UniSA City East Campus BJ1-13
Abstract: Commencing university as an international student involves adjustment to multiple cultural frameworks: the host-nation culture, the multicultural student cohort, the institutional culture of the university, and the disciplinary culture of the area of study. Host-nation students may already possess much of this cultural knowledge and share learning spaces with international students but the two
groups do not necessarily interact. We felt that these issues could be addressed using Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS). PASS employs established, high-achieving students to facilitate study sessions for new students. In PASS, the facilitator acts as a model student, rather than as a teacher, as the group works through the study material together. This format provides a structured, discipline-based forum for interaction in a non-threatening, non-assessed context. In this project, Australian third year bachelor students acted as PASS facilitators for new international masters students, leading study session activities focussed on scientific communication skills. The results from this project provide insight into how peer interaction can facilitate transition to a new academic culture for international students.