The article provides comparative insights into vietnamese and australian students experience of internationalization of the curriculum. We explore how local arrangements for curriculum internationalization in australia and vietnam enable and/or constrain students individual agency in taking control of their knowledge and skills to become skilful and culturally sensitive professionals and citizens. The article is part of a 4-year empirical study that includes 15 semistructured interviews with academics and nine focus groups with 40 students in both countries. We use practice architecture theory to interpret whether and to what extent students can be the key actors in internationalizing the curriculum and the factors that nurture or restrict their participation in this process. The article provides important comparative perspectives on students experience of participating in curriculum internationalization in vietnam as a developing country and an international education importer and australia as a developed country and an education export provider. 2018 European association for international education.