Starting at university as a first year can be incredibly nerve racking for an individual. However, if you are starting at a local university it becomes a lot easier to make friends and is a lot easier to find common interests. For an international student it is twice as nerve racking as opposed to a domestic student. Researchers have conducted case studies to see the affects that a student transferring to an international university goes through. These studies also demonstrate how important it is to welcome and help international students with their transition. Marginson (2012) states that “research suggests the pathway to improvement lies in lifting the interactions between international students and local persons, especially students”. As domestic students, we have a role to help international students feel more welcome at university to make their transition easier.
International students are an important part of Universities income due to the fact that they pay for their degrees up front instead of relying on HECS debt like domestic students.
International students face many struggles with their transition into University. They often struggle with adapting to the accent in Australia than adapting to the English language itself. This especially applies for Asian International Students, who find it difficult to keep up with the fast paced Australian accent.
In this short documentary created by University of Technology students, international students from a number of countries are asked why they chose Australia as their study destination. Many of which state that it is the “multicultural aspect” and the “cultural variety” which is prominent in Australia.
There are many highlights and lowlights to studying internationally, Universities such as the University of Wollongong and University of Sydney offer services such as student support services. There are programs students can volunteer for, which involve domestic students spending an hour or two a week talking to an international student about how their transition to university is going and if there is anything that you can do to help them.
Links of support services
Marginson S 2012, “International education as self-formation”, University of Melbourne, viewed 20/8/16