Dongru Xu

Home from Home

Every year, more than 30,000 international students from more than 180 countries choose to study in Scotland.

However, it is not always so good as we imagine. Even though our society is more and more connected, it is still difficult to study abroad half way round the world. As international students said, they have to deal with various urgent problems by themselves. Problems experienced may include: getting a UK mobile phone, understanding the transport system, opening a bank account and finding accommodation. Students can also experience difficulties in understanding and adapting to unfamiliar teaching methods.

International students support and organisations are already established in many universities to help students with their study and living arrangements: this project is looking at how design might help improve these services.

Interviews will be conducted with international students studying in Dundee, the International Support Team staff in our university and Sta Travel Agency staff in Dundee. In addition observations will be carried out in order to see the students experience when they deal with some problems. In this way, I can find design opportunities to create a better life for international students, help them feel more at ease in their new surroundings and feel at home.

Key Words:

International students

New environment





1. UK council for international student affairs

2.International students’ problems and solutions

3.Foreign students’ experience of the UK

4.Volet, S. E., & Ang, G. (1998) ‘Culturally mixed groups on international campuses: an opportunity for intercultural learning,’ Higher Education Research and Development, Vol 17(1) 5-23

5.Chinese International Students’ Perceptions of the Problem-Based Learning Experience

6.Chung, J. C. C. and Chow, S. M. K. (2004) Promoting student learning through a student-centred

problem-based learning subject curriculum. Innovations in Education and Teaching International

41(2), 157-168.

7.Jones, S.M., Robertson, M. and Line, M. (1999). Teaching and Valuing the Voices of International Students in Universities. [Online] [28.5.2003].

8.Levy, S., Osborn, M. and Plunkett, M. (2003). An Investigation of International Students’Academic and Social Transition Requirements. [Online]

papers03/Refereed Papers/Ful papers/Levy,OsborneandPlunkett_paper.doc [28/05/2003]

9.Learning at University: The International Student


10.Understanding the International Student Experience

11.How can we improve the international student experience and stay ahead of the competition?

12.Improving the university experience for international students


Dongru Xu is from China. She is currently studying for a Master of Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design at the University of Dundee.

Dongru studied Graphic Design in Woosong University in South Korea.




4 Responses to Dongru Xu

  1. Dan Shen says:

    Hi Dongru,
    Your project is very close to my problem, you are very welcome to discuss with me.
    I have an idea for you that if there is a booklet or a website like the railway web(just like a place to another place) to collect the information or information websites for international students, it will be more convenient.
    Good project!

  2. jhzkim says:

    Hi Dongru
    As Dan mentioned it, I also feel sympathy your subject. so if you need interview I can help you and tell you my problem. you will need various kinds of examples of each international students from different culture.

  3. Ming Ge says:

    Hi, Dongru
    It is a really good point to start. Because it is quite close to us. I have been the International Support Office millions time (might be) for many reason(extend visa, accommondation, information asking and so on). Moreover, i think i also have a quite big change in psychology. when i just arrived, feel a little depress when i was alone. But it just a short period, I believe for the most international students could have this problem somewhat. For me i think i might need a talk at that time. i would love to be your interviewee.

  4. Becca says:

    Ni hao Dongru,
    This is a perfect project for you to tackle, as you know first hand what these experiences are like. You explain your project really clearly and your title fits your subject really well. I like how you have provided figures that allow the reader to obtain an idea of how many students are effected by these situations and how important it is that something is done to help the situation and improve it.
    Great job and good luck

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