The number of Saudi female international students (SFIS) pursuing higher degrees in western countries has increased dramatically. Many are faced with unusual challenges, especially acting without a male's permission, interacting with males, and using an open, free internet. This article proposes that SFIS experience a “digital shift” whereby their cultural, educational and digital backgrounds impact their information-seeking behaviour (ISB) in Australia. The study used a qualitative interpretivist methodology, interviewing a diverse group of SFIS studying in Australia, to better understand this impact on their everyday information needs and use of information sources. Findings indicate that SFIS’ imperfect online search skills, exacerbated by English language deficiency, increase their challenges. The paper makes some recommendations for institutions and service providers.