Defining, measuring and supporting international student success

Beth Isensee1, Nasreen  Mohamed

1University Of Minnesota, International Student & Scholar Services, Minneapolis, United States

Defining the international student success can be done from the perspective of the nation, the academic institution, the academic field or program. It can also be done from the perspective of the student and their family. The culture and expectations of each perspective combine to create nuisances in how we define student success.  As student services professionals, supporting international student success is core to our roles. We need to employ various strategies to support students while keeping in mind the individual needs of each student.  A critical aspect to improving international student success is to measure the outcomes of their experiences.  We must understand the students’ experiences, acknowledge the barriers they face and creating models of positive change.  Join this inteactive workshop to learn and explore the various student service approaches for defining, measuring and supporting international student success. After our exploration, we will share trends in U.S. model as well as the University of Minnesota’s specific approach to supporting students.  Throughout the session, we will also compare and contrast how the definitions, support and measurement of student success may differ between the U.S., Australian and New Zealand contexts. Through this conversation, we can explore what are some best practices on a global scale.

Learning Objectives of Workshop

  1. Explore the definition international student success
    • National, university, delegate perspective
    • Student and parent perspective
    • U.S. perspective and University of Minnesota perspective
  2. Understand different ways to measure international student success
    • Delegate and their institutions viewpoint
    • A U.S. perspective
    • A University of Minnesota perspective
  3. Learn the various lenses of student services professionals in supporting international student success within international education
    • Delegate and their institutions viewpoint
    • A U.S. perspective
    • A University of Minnesota perspective


Beth Isensee serves as Assistant Director of Student Engagement and Intercultural Initiatives at the  International Student & Scholar Services in the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance at the University  of Minnesota. Her primary focus is valuing and integrating international students as critical aspect to  the University’s internationalizing the campus and curriculum effort. She collaborates university-wide  to identify the student voice through evaluations and assessment for the development of unit specific  strategic planning. Beth has worked within the field of International Education for 17 years and has a  M.A. in Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology.

Nasreen Mohamed is the Program Director for Student Engagement at the International Student and Scholar Services at the University of Minnesota.  He oversees the International new student transition process and participates in campus climate initiatives. Nasreen has worked for over 15 years in higher education has an M.A in Organizational Development.

VicWISE: Leadership to address employability challenges faced by international students

Ms Sharon Smith1, Ms Brooke Young1, Ms Anna McLeod2, Ms Manorani Guy3

1Monash College, Melbourne, Australia, 2Navitas, Melbourne, Australia, 3Asian Student Accommodation

Graduate employability continues to be a hot topic across the education sector.  Research shows that international students choose study destinations based on work rights, expected job outcomes and global portability of degrees. However, international students face challenges in securing work during their studies and following graduation. These challenges are becoming more pronounced given the growth across the sector. This is placing increased pressure on student and careers services and impacts on the overall student experience.

The Victorian Working Group on International Student Employability (VicWISE) was formed in May 2016.  It is a collaboration between the International Student Advisory Network of Australia (ISANA), National Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (NAGCAS), Council of International Students Australia (CISA), as well as the Victorian State Government and the City of Melbourne. Along with these groups, interested university representatives and higher education providers have joined forces to help raise awareness and take action to improve international student employability support and outcomes.

This interactive session will provide an overview of the challenges international students are experiencing and discuss the imperative for professionals to extend the capacity of the sector and community to help international students secure employment.  Examples of cross-sector leadership, advocacy and communication to key stakeholders on the benefits of employing and making work-based experiences available to Victorian international students will be discussed. Participants will share resources available, employer feedback, and ways that organisations have worked successfully with international students to develop solutions.  Ideas and actions that help increase access to volunteer, paid work and for-credit internships will be explored. Finally, workshop participants will be able to share best practice examples that exist in their own institutions.


Sharon Smith is currently the WIL Service Manager at Monash College, managing the delivery of over 1200 work integrated learning placements for Monash University Arts and Business Faculties. She has worked in the international education sector since 2001 and have extensive knowledge and experience in policy and program development and delivery, as well as research for international students at the City of Melbourne and the National Union of Students.  Sharon has led collaborative programs, such as the Student Welcome Desk at Melbourne Airport, and worked in partnership delivering research, programs and events with universities, peak bodies and student associations to address challenges and issues faced by international students and the education sector.  Sharon was the VicTas ISANA president from 2012-2015 and has been involved in delivery of ISANA national and state conferences, events and program, government submissions and reports since 2005.

Manorani Guy was born in Malaysia with Chinese/Indian heritage. She is the founder and director of “Asian Student Accommodation” (ASA) and “Asian Student Education” (ASE) in Melbourne and holds a degree in Psychology, Business Management and a Diploma in International Education.  She brings more than 20 years of professional experience in student accommodation/welfare and has developed her own in-house program to cater to the needs of international students in the 21st century within her business.  She began her journey as an international student herself in India at the age of 14 and migrated to Melbourne in 1987.Coming from a multicultural family background and having studied in another country, she brings deep direct cultural experience that has been one of the primary shapers to her life.  Mano shares a deep passion for all aspects of international education and during her spare time volunteers for the International Student Advisers’ Network of Australia (ISANA) a non-profit organisation. She is currently the ISANA VIC/TAS President and leads a team of 12 professionals who are volunteers on the ISANA committee. These members represent major divisions of international education. She sits on several committees and is involved in numerous projects/activities relating to international education in Victoria and Tasmania.   Mano believes collaboration is the key to effective use of resources and strives to connect people and organisations with the primary goal of improving the international student experience and to improve research in international education sector.  Cooking, eating out, live shows, leadership development, intercultural communication, living a sustainable and healthy lifestyle– these are her passions. She enjoys being with people and learning new things about the amazing world around her.


The Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association Inc. (ANZSSA) is a professional association for people with an interest in the role of support services in post secondary education.

For more information, please visit ANZSSA website by


ISANA International Education Association is the representative body for professionals in Australia and New Zealand who work in international student services, advocacy, teaching and policy development in international education.

For more information, please visit the ISANA website at

Conference Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the conference.