Education is important. All of our interests can be enhanced by a simple investigation and the willingness to learn. No matter where you are in the world, education is a significant factor in an individuals life that deserves to be explored and considered in an individuals lifetime.
For some people, they wish to complete their education somewhere other than their home country. This allows them to gain insight into another culture and experience the different ways a country celebrates. Being an international student comes with many barriers, but also has a positive effect on their life. Some of the barriers international students face are language barriers and cultural differences.
Language barriers are one of the main factors that contribute to the transitioning of moving countries for an education. Not only do they have to learn new content, but they also have to communicate in the common language in the country they are moving to. This step may be difficult and may take some time to learn and understand, but it would make their experience a whole lot easier for them in the future. The language barrier is definitely a stereotype that many international students have to face, that may be true or untrue. Many students find it difficult to follow what both their lecturers and classmates are saying due to both the speed with which they spoke and because of their use of Australian colloquialisms.
The media often portrays certain stereotypes of international students that may have false accusations and negative connotations, they may also have a level of truth to it. Stereotypes may assume that international students are “weak, lacking, or helpless”, when in reality they have high levels of motivation and determination to experience a different culture and to experience a further education.
Another issue that international students may face while pursuing an education in another country is ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism can be defined as the belief in the inherit superiority of ones ethnic group or culture.
“Australians are often to parochial trapped within an Australian-centred view of a diverse and complex world” – Marginson (2012: 2)
This quote by Simon Marginson goes to show the Australian mindset of international students and how the Australian citizen only really care for their own views and mindsets, rather than taking in and seeing things from a different perspective.
Cultural differences are also a big factor for international students to take in. As the Australian culture is very relaxed and easy going, it may take a while for someone to get used to it, especially if they come from a culture where everything they do must have thought or a purpose to it. Learning and adapting to new cultures may cause distress or difficulty and can prevent them from trying their best in their education.
In the paper “International Students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes” by Peter Kell and Gillian Vogl, they discuss that “Some of the students took a while to get used to what they referred to as the ‘informalness’ or informality of Australians in terms of both the way they dressed and behaved. One student stated that; And nobody even dreams of wearing thongs to university (laughs) that is unimaginable, I mean if my mum got to know that I wear slippers and come to the college, she would freak out.”.
Here is a video that explores how learning Australian english is different.
Assignment Help. (2017). Challenges Faced by International Students in Australia. [online] Available at: https://myassignmenthelp.com/blog/challenges-faced-by-international-students-in-australia/ [Accessed Aug. 2017].
Kell, P. and Vogl, G. (2012). International students in the Asia Pacific. Dordrecht: Springer.
Lian, A. (n.d.). Challenges in global learning.
Webdiary.com.au. (2017). What is the big issue for international students? | Webdiary – Founded and Inspired by Margo Kingston. [online] Available at: https://webdiary.com.au/cms/?q=node/2526 [Accessed Aug. 2017].