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Leading the Way: Peer to Peer Mentoring to Improve the Experience and Adaptability of Australian and Chinese University Students

8 pagesPublished: October 23, 2017

Abstract

Peer to peer mentoring is well established in the literature as providing an effective mechanism to foster student’s sense of belonging and to support their resilience and academic progress. This paper reports on a peer mentoring model that was established within a Built Environment School in 2015. The mentoring program was designed to provide peer mentoring support for Chinese students who were articulating into the third year of a Construction Management program delivered at a Melbourne university. The Chinese students had successfully completed two years of a Building Science program at the China University of Mining & Technology (CUMT). To support the Mentees to transition into year three of the Construction Management program three teaching academics from the Construction Management program partnered with their School’s Academic Developer. The project team was formed to design and implement a mentoring program that sought to deliver reciprocal learning for local Melbourne based mentors and the newly arrived Chinese mentees. The program was designed to support Mentees to transition into the Construction Management program and living in Melbourne by providing study support and opportunities for social engagement. In this paper the authors reflect on their experiences of designing and implementing the peer mentoring program and report anecdotal evidence which suggests that peer to peer mentoring can provide an effective mechanism through which students are better prepared and supported to deal positively with the process of transition and the many complex challenges this can entail.

Keyphrases: higher education, International student experience, Peer to Peer Mentoring, reciprocal learning

In: Marsha Lamb (editor). AUBEA 2017: Australasian Universities Building Education Association Conference 2017, vol 1, pages 179--186

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