The globalisation of education is vital to the Australian economy and international relationships. International education can strengthen the ties between Australia and other countries, which assists our trade relationships as well as our understanding of global issues and our worldwide reputation.
Despite this importance, international students face a plethora of issues in regards to the exchange process and cultural experiences. “A crucial element in the achievement of success for international students is not only their academic adjustment but also their adjustment to the social and cultural environment.” (International Students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes, 2007, pg. 2) This is made difficult due to the existence of a condescending attitude towards those who study internationally, where people assume that those who are not fluent in the English language lack intelligence, or are weak or helpless.
In reality, “studies suggest that many international students prior to coming to Australia have spent many years learning to speak English and thus enter the country unaware of the extent to which local accents, fast speech and Australian colloquialisms…” (International Students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes, 2007, pg. 3) While international students are perfectly capable of speaking English in a formal sense, it’s the detachment from culture that gives off the impression of unintelligence.
This ultimately generates anxiety and uncertainty amongst international students. This attitude may deter individuals from studying in Australia or even in other countries, and thus damage the Australian economy and current international relationships. In order to prevent this demise, the perception of international students’ needs to change.
These students are required to be motivated and empowered in order to succeed in a different cultural environment, hence they should be perceived for their reality, as opposed to what is assumed.
Kell. P, Vogl. G, 2007, ‘International Students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes’, Centre for Research on Social Inclusion, pg. 2-3