Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine Vietnamese international students’ experiences with the campus learning environment by analysing differences in staff and student perceptions.
Design/methodology/approach: Two focus groups (n=12) and ten in-depth interviews were conducted with Vietnamese students and four in-depth interviews with the university staff (totalling 26).
Findings: The findings show a greater divergence of views between students and staff on teaching and learning than English language proficiency and student support services. These key differences were influenced by students’ prior expectations of their learning environment in Vietnam.
Research limitations/implications: This study is limited to one group of international students and to one Australian university.
Practical implications: The lecturers/administrators must have a good understanding of international students’ learning backgrounds and expectations to enhance their positive experience; appropriate teaching skills and practices are essential for teachers to meet the current needs of students. More effective training for international students to understand the multicultural nature of Australia is also essential.
Originality/value: This study contributes to the literature by identifying the experience of Vietnamese international students in a western university, which is, a relatively under-researched nationality compared to other Asian nationalities such as Chinese and Indian.