Lessons learned from teaching international students


ITC has a unique international student population and I wanted to have a look closer at how these students experience and appreciate the teaching and learning in ITC. So I designed two surveys and a workshop to look at (1) the differences and similarities between international students in how experienced they are in various teaching and learning methods before starting their education in ITC, (2) the differences and similarities between international students in how they appreciate teaching and learning methods used in ITC and (3) the reasons why students appreciate or dislike particular teaching methods in ITC.


Research Question: "What to expect and take into account while teaching international students?"


  • Perception of what a teaching method involves may differ between staff and students (also between staff and between students). Examples are “unsupervised practical” or fieldwork. Therefore teachers should EXPLAIN THE TEACHING METHOD just as they explain the content of a topic.
  • Avoid that students get stuck for too long in unsupervised practicals. Monitor and reconsider the timing of feedback.
  • Lack of fluency in English is a major barrier for several students to follow lectures, submit written assignments and answer exam questions. We should think of ways to stimulate new students more forceful to improve their English before coming to ITC and in the first year of the curriculum.
  • Several students do not dare to ask questions. Students must learn to do this. Help them with it.
  • Be aware that students may be “polite” instead of telling what they really think. We need to find ways to make them more confident and make them aware that we need their honest opinion.