The global internationalization of higher education has introduced new dimensions of inquiry into cross-cultural aspects of academic pedagogy and practice. The academic community is searching for innovation in effective and sustainable pedagogies that will equally enhance learning opportunities for all students, regardless of ethnic and cultural background. The process has caused a transformation in educational ethics and values and brought into question traditional assumptions about scholarship and knowledge building in the academy. International students across the global disciplinary spectrum, have been the target of much debate about failed methodologies leading to low academic achievement as well as dissatisfaction in the academic teaching community. This paper takes the premise that sustainable forms of pedagogy in international contexts are contingent upon increasing an awareness of the language, culture and discourse intersection in academic learning communities during transition. It will showcase ways in which international students’ cross-cultural learning experiences are constructed in terms of contextual, pragmatic and socio-cultural factors. The presentation will unveil international students’ perceptive considerations and apt interpretations of the inter-cultural communicative subtleties that are manifest in academic discourse between academics and students. The paper will make suggestions for the attainment of sustainable practices that will have impact on the working lives of academics and the formation of new pedagogies.