This paper looks at the metrolingual practices of students in two tertiary institutions in Tokyo and Sydney. The argument here is that a focus only on the medium of instruction, or translingual educational practices, may overlook the diverse semiotic resources students bring to their educational experiences. When it comes to study itself, students’ multilingual worlds confer not so much a ‘bilingual advantage’ as this has been narrowly defined from a more cognitive perspective, but rather a ‘translingual advantage’ that makes it possible to draw on a range of resources to construct meaning and develop learning.