Publication Details

Kell, P. M., Schmelitschek, V. H., Smith, A. & Vogl, G. J. (2008). Welcome to Wollongong: community action project. In T. Mc Grath (Eds.), 19th ISANA International Education Association Conference Proceedings (p. [15]). The Gap, Queensland: ISANA International Education Association Inc..


This paper reports on a community action project that was developed by a community committee to assist international students to feel more welcome in Wollongong. Research with international students carried out since 2005 by Peter Kell and Gillian Vogl found that international students who were well connected to their communities experienced greater well being and performed better academically. In 2006 a community working group was formed comprising staff and students from different sectors at the University of Wollongong; representatives from Wollongong City Council; the local business chamber; local businesses, Illawarra Ethnic Communities Council and Illawarra TAFE. The Welcome to Wollongong (W2W) Community Group worked together to put in place a community website for international students and also to co-ordinate a civic reception and mini festival to welcome new international students to Wollongong. This was held in February 2008 and was funded by an IMB community foundation grant. This paper provides an evaluation of this project and discusses a new type of framework that the authors believe should underpin the international student experience. This framework proposes a wellness and security paradigm in managing international student mobility.

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