International Student Lounge: Connecting and Engaging Students Online

Ms Rebecca Hodge1, Ms Tanya Trebilcock

1La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia

Fostering social connectedness and effective information provision to international students during the remote learning and working environments of 2020 is a challenge that La Trobe International Student Services turned into an opportunity, with the creation of their online International Student Lounge. Benefit from their learnings about content, delivery, co-creation with students and collaboration with industry partners to maximise attendance, engagement and reach for online events when “zoom burnout” is a real hurdle. There are many considerations in running successful online engagement programs, including technical mastery and promotional approaches, but when the formula is right these events are just as rewarding and valuable than in-person events. The online International Student Lounge was a necessary adaptation of traditional, on-campus events but one that will continue beyond online learning requirements because it unites students and staff from across campuses and the world, is more accessible to multi-tasking students, and more conducive to external presenters’ involvement with minimal time and travel commitments.


Rebecca Hodge

Rebecca is passionate about international student experience, wellbeing and engagement. Rebecca is an experienced higher education professional having worked in international student, accommodation and foundation studies roles over the past 9 years. Rebecca holds a Graduate Diploma of Psychology Advanced from Monash University and Bachelor in Behavioural Science from La Trobe University, and has been an exchange student herself at the University of Leicester in the UK.

Tanya Trebilcock

Hi my name is Tanya and I have been working part time with international students for about a year now. I live in Albury in New South Wales, and work on the Wodonga campus of La Trobe Univerity, in Victoria, so I cross a state border for work 😊 My campus is quite small, so as well as supporting the international students on my campus, I also support students from other campuses, via phone calls or zoom. I have a lot of respect for international students, and I’m very glad to work with them and support them.

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