Abstract The current study investigated the impact of intercultural contact between domestic and international students on attitudes toward international students, and potential mediators of this relationship. A total of 247 Australian-born domestic undergraduates completed a survey of the quantity and quality of their contact with international students, levels of intergroup anxiety (IA) and intercultural communication emotions (ICE), and their attitudes toward international students. Positive quality of intercultural contact, less IA, and more positive ICE were all related to more positive attitudes toward international students. In addition, ICE mediated the relationship between positive quality of contact and attitudes, and between IA and attitudes. Quality of contact exerted both direct and indirect effects (via IA and intercultural communications emotions) on intergroup attitudes. Results highlight the importance of addressing communication barriers and the emotions associated with these when promoting positive interactions between domestic and international students. Suggestions are made for a theoretical integration of intergroup and communication-based perspectives when considering attitudes toward linguistically diverse outgroups like international students.