International students creating comedy to foster wellbeing and connectedness

‘Are you joking?’


  • Diane de saint Léger The University of Melbourne
  • Jayne Lysk The University of Melbourne
  • Richard Sallis The University of Melbourne
  • Kelly McConville The University of Melbourne
  • Danielle Clayman The University of Melbourne



International students, connectedness, well-being, comedy, transcultural and intercultural awareness development, creativity


It is well established that international students attending higher education institutions in Australia and other parts of the world face challenges that can affect their state of well-being and connectedness. Higher education institutions have attempted to counter these issues by providing specifically designed programs with varying success. This study builds on some of the more successful programs that draw on the relationship between creativity and collaboration. The program aimed to foster international students’ well-being by teaching them how to harness their creative potential and explore through stand-up comedy the funny side of life as international student in Australia. The analysis shows that the program positively enhanced well-being by fostering a sense of connectedness and by providing a space to take risks in a safe and supportive fashion. Data also indicated that the program contributed to the development of knowledge and skills transferrable to other academic and non-academic contexts. 

Author Biographies

Jayne Lysk, The University of Melbourne

JAYNE LYSK, Ded, is a lecturer in Clinical Education in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health Sciences. Her research interests include preparing students and learners for the world as it is and how it could be.

Richard Sallis, The University of Melbourne

RICHARD SALLIS, PhD, is a Senior lecturer in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at The University of Melbourne. His major research interests lie in the areas of equity diversity and inclusion, drama/theatre studies, Research-based Theatre, Initial Teacher Education.

Kelly McConville, The University of Melbourne

Bio statement to follow soon

Danielle Clayman, The University of Melbourne

DANIELLE CLAYMAN, M.Ed., is a Health and Wellbeing Practitioner in the Department of Medical Education at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her research interests include the factors impacting on medical student health and wellbeing, and best-practice psychological support following critical incidents. 




How to Cite

de saint Léger, D., Lysk, J., Sallis, R., McConville, K., & Clayman, D. (2024). International students creating comedy to foster wellbeing and connectedness: ‘Are you joking?’ . Journal of International Students, 14(3), 1–20.



Research Articles (English)