The flow of international students to study in Australia increases each year. It is a challenge for students to study abroad in a different sociocultural environment, especially for postgraduate research students, as they experience numerous difficulties in an unfamiliar and vastly different study environment. A study aimed to investigate the experiences of international research students and how this impacted upon their studies at the University of Tasmania (UTAS). This study also provides insight and guidance regarding the experiences of current and future international research students in Australia and universities globally. It also offers to educational services and relevant government agencies a greater understanding on how to support international research students more effectively. Qualitative research methods were used to gain deeper insights about the issue. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten participants who were selected randomly from different faculties within the university. All collected data were analysed by Nvivo version 10. Constructivist grounded theory was the basis of qualitative data analysis. The findings indicate that there are five main areas of difficulty when international research students are studying in the Australian tertiary education context. These are; language barrier, time management, research resources, educational background and cultural background. The findings of the study provide guidelines and references for current and prospective international research students in the Australian university context.
international research student, academic, language barrier, education background, cultural background