Ms Ticky Lan1, Ms Catherine (Elby)  Chai1, Ms Belinda Te1, Ms Emily Soper1, Ms Xin (Cindy) Chen1

1UTS Bamblue, Sydney, Australia

Our purpose is to showcase our student-led group’s research collection process, creating designs for students by students. We navigated the environment of the international students in our university in 2020 through talking to different stakeholders and utilising design research methods and tools to engage with our peers.

We were given a client brief from our university’s branch of Respect Now Always, a university organisation against sexual violence, wanting to gain further insight into how to better connect with international students. Due to the broad nature of our brief, we prioritised simply sitting in the problem space.

Especially in light of isolation and remote learning, we want to focus on connection and students’ sense of belonging. Such an environment would help international student engagement and comfort with RNA resources.

This quest for belonging should not be a sole responsibility of international students, given that their plates are often full already. Instead, what could domestic students and the university do to facilitate this sense of belonging?

The outcome of our insights is a development of two deliverables. Firstly, we developed a prototype for an interactive online ‘study abroad’ experiential game to convey the unnoticed struggles and anxieties of international students. By increasing empathy independently, without requiring further labour from international students, we hope to open up the conversation about the role domestic students play. Secondly, we are designing a newsletter aimed at university “higher ups” addressing areas for improvement, where belonging is currently eroded, based on our insights from our fellow students.


Bio to come.

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