Australia educates 9% of the world’s cross border tertiary students. In 2004, there were 228,555 international students enrolled in Australian higher education institutions, three quarters of them onshore in the southern continent. International students constituted 24.2% of all enrolled students and provided 15% of university revenues. (Loneliness and International Students: An Australian Study,2007)
Majority of international students want closer interactions with local students, and are prepared to take risks to achieve this, however, most local students are not interested in this. Many assumptions are made upon international students, therefore individuals believing this are not making an effort to include them in class group work, friend groups etc.
This issue could stem from the ideas of ‘ethnocentrism’ which means to subjectively classify and judge other people’s cultures according to the standards of one’s own culture. As stated in Marginson’s study, international students are subordinated by ethnocentric practices and therefore lead to them being seen as inferior or in deficit.
Australian ‘English’ “G’Day Mate! Ow Ya Goin!?” This phrase being said in conduction with an extremely bogan Australian accent could sometimes be considered to be a different language. The Australian version of english is rather unique. You aren’t going to find someone calling food “Tucker” or McDonald’s ‘Maccas’ in China, India and even America so Imagine how hard it would be for International students to come to Australia, when English is not their first language and have to try understand our bogan phrases especially when majority of the time international students learn formal English and there is nothing formal about the Australian ‘English’.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in 2010-11 “one fifth of all student visa applications lodged and granted were from China”, followed by India and South Korea. The world is becoming much more of a global place and while people from non-English speaking countries are choosing to come to Australia, many Australians who study abroad are choosing to go to English speaking countries as well, the most popular being America, the UK, New Zealand and Canada. This emphasises the growing need to be able to speak english in todays global society.
While there is a lot that still needs to be done to help the transition for international students coming to Australia a bit easier, there is always the fact that travelling is a way in which you will learn life lessons and gain incredible memories. Travelling to different countries to study will enhance a persons view of the world and inspire them to think about different things that they wouldn’t necessarily think about in their home country. It opens so many doors, and in the globalised world we live in today, gaining an international education can only strengthen a person’s view of the world.
Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012, International students, Australian Bureau of Statistics <www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup.4102.0Main+Features20Dec+2011#WHEREAPPLICATION>