Supporting placement educators to supervise international students through cross-cultural learning opportunities

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


The number of international students undertaking professional health degrees has risen dramatically in Australia in recent years. This has led to challenges securing an increased number of quality placement positions for the growing international student cohorts. Many social work field educators are reluctant and some unwilling to take on international students as they perceive it will require additional work in terms of time and support due to cultural and linguistic barriers. This research is based on the findings from an Australia-wide research project exploring the experiences and support needs of field placement educators who supervise international social work
students. The data consists of 197 survey responses and 16 in-depth interviews from field educators regarding their experiences supervising international students on placement. Our research reveals that many supervisors lack the experience and targeted professional development to feel adequately prepared to supervise students from different cultural backgrounds. Our research also reveals, however, that those who have supervised international students have found value in the cross-cultural learning opportunities that the supervision relationship has provided. Those who have supervised international students describe their experiences as rich opportunities to learn about their students’ culture, and social work education and practice in their home country among other things. For these supervisors, working with international students brings a new perspective and these placements are viewed as cross-cultural learning opportunities. Such perspectives enable the sustainability of the provision of quality placements for international students.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2018
EventAustralian & New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators Conference 2018 - Grand Chancellor Hotel, Hobart , Australia
Duration: 1 Jul 20184 Jul 2018 (Abstract Book)


ConferenceAustralian & New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators Conference 2018
Abbreviated titleANZAHPE 2018
OtherTheme: Sustainability for Health Professions Education
Internet address


  • Social work education
  • Clinical placement support
  • Placement education
  • International students

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