Higher Education

, 55:51 | Cite as

The health and wellbeing of international students at an Australian university

  • Doreen Anne Rosenthal
  • Jean Russell
  • Garry Thomson
Original Paper

Abstract

A representative sample of undergraduate and postgraduate international students at a large Australian university (n=979, 64% females) completed a mail-back survey of their health and wellbeing. Most students evaluated their current and previous physical and mental health positively. Health-related risk practices such as unprotected sexual activity, drug use, smoking and gambling, were reported by few students. There was little change in health or risk behaviours since coming to Australia and few changes that were health compromising. Few demographic or situational variables, including age and gender, had a significant impact on students' wellbeing. This study has revealed that few international students find the experience of studying in an overseas country detrimental to their wellbeing. Nevertheless, for those students who encounter difficulties or are at increased risk of health-compromising outcomes, we must ensure better delivery of health promotion education, and access to, and use of, available counselling and health services.

Keywords

International students Mental health Physical health Risk practices Sexual health Substance use Wellbeing 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Doreen Anne Rosenthal
    • 1
  • Jean Russell
    • 1
  • Garry Thomson
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Centre for Women’s Health in SocietyThe University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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