UQ researchers are interested in exploring the experiences of South Asian international students towards mental health and mental health services.

Compared to domestic students or other international students, Asian international students are less likely to seek help for their mental health needs. Attitudes and intentions towards seeking professional support can predict the willingness of individuals to receive counselling services. However, currently there is a lack of evidence for South Asian international students.

The findings of the study will contribute to the development of university services by informing staff members on strategies on developing culturally responsive service to meet the specific needs of international students. This project is part of a broader study on exploring the experiences of South Asian international students who have used university counselling services.

The study is being organized by a research team from the School of Rehabilitation and Health Science at the University of Queensland. The research team consists of a PhD student and two supervisors, and the research is funded by the University of Queensland HDR student funding. The research team is independent of any university counselling services.

What you are asked to do:

  • we will ask you to sit for either a focus group interview or an individual interview depending on your preference.

  • We will ask you to share your thoughts and opinions on mental health and mental health services.

  • The interviews/focus group will run for approximately one hour.

  • The interviews/focus group will be conducted either face to face or via zoom depending on your preference.

  • After the interview, we will give you a summary of the interview transcript to make sure it is an accurate description of what you meant and if there is anything that needs to be added or changed. For the focus group interviews we will provide a summary of the transcript.

  • The interviews/focus groups will be recorded and transcribed verbatim. The research team will also be taking field notes throughout the interview process.

  • For the individual interviews, if you don’t feel comfortable being recorded, the interview will not be recorded. You can opt in or out of being recorded in the consent form.


  • International students from the following South Asian countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka
  • Have been living in Australia for at least one year
  • Are currently attending universities in Australia

Participant benefits

Participants will receive a $10 gift voucher for taking part in the study.

Register your interest

 To register your interest, please email Shleshma: s.dhakal@uqconnect.edu.au

This study has been approved by The University of Queensland Human Research Ethics Committee [Approval No.2022/HE001353].