As the demand for education rises, and with the increasing availability and sophistication of the means of delivery, open education and e-learning is being seen as a way to rapidly increase student numbers. This paper explores some realities of providing traditional open education and e-learning in an international environment and examines the influences of local context and cultures on the successful provision of traditional open education and e-learning in the light of Charles Sturt University's experience in Asia. The provision by a non-Asian university of open education programmes to Asian students creates a number of challenges. Many students will have to move to a different learning environment from those with which they are familiar. The success of such programmes is dependant upon the extent to which local context and cultural considerations are incorporated into the planning and delivery of teaching and learning.