For countries such as Australia exporting education is recognised as an important contributor to the nation s economy. The embodiment of this export industry in Australia is the presence of international students in tertiary institutions across the country. Despite their considerable contribution to social, political, cultural and economic life, there have been recent examples of violence, exploitation and discrimination against international students in Australia. To understand how international students are both welcomed and excluded from Australian life, we use critical discourse analysis (CDA) to analyse news reports published in an Australian national newspaper from 2009 to 2011. Following van Dijk (Ideology: a multidisciplinary approach, Sage, Thousand Oaks, 1998) we view newspapers as ideological institutions that mobilise discursive power to polarise public opinion to support their ideological agenda(s). In the case of international students we use CDA to show how media discourses construct international students in ways that commodify their participation in higher education and marginalise them as the excluded other in Australian society. Our conceptual and analytical approach has broader implications for national higher education policy and international student experience by exposing the social inequalities that accompany globalised international education.