International and Domestic Students Interaction Challenges Essay Example
7International and Domestic Students Interaction Challenges
International and Domestic Students Interaction Challenges
Analysis of the Findings
Globally, socialization is one aspect that greatly encouraged among the students (Dewi, 2014, 245). Although the students differ in terms of their cultural background, practices, and beliefs, it is important to understand each other and ensure proper integration process. In the research, only six students were used as the sample aging between 20 and 21 years old. From the collected information, students often do different activities after leaving the school for home. However, it is important to note that the research drew the sample from different countries including GuangDong, ShangDom, Shenzhen, Korea, and Centre of China. Students experience different challenges while making new friends especially if they do not share similar cultural and religious factors. From the research, only three claimed to have foreign friends.
However, they had different reasons for making friendship with international students as well deciding to remain close friends with domestic students. Some students stated that they never had any foreign friends but failed to justify their actions. Furthermore, other students claimed to share even rooms with the international students, have fun together, and chat as friends. Nevertheless, none of the interviewed students agreed to have very close relationship with the international students. To some extent, domestic students share houses with international students because they are compelled to do so or have no any other choices. For example, from the statement of M, “just at the homestay, you know it’s not friends, but just share the house with them,” indicate that if he had a choice, he could have moved to another place.
Domestic students view international students differently. Some would wish to make friends with them inside clubs and bars while drinking reflecting the manner in which most of them are viewed. Moreover, other students would prefer making friends while doing exercise together but not at the table having meals together. Although some students like JunQian and JingXu preferred making friends through some study discussions as a means of embracing teamwork in academics. Other students also preferred making new friends through playing games since most international students like games. On making international friends, five students concurred that it was necessary citing the major reason for such interaction being to help work on assignment and improve their English communication skills. Moreover, other students stated that it offered a good foundation for learning different cultures and helpful for university life.
Even though most students find it necessary to make international friends, there are factors making such activities within the university. The major factor hindering the interaction between the domestic and international students are challenges associated with language barrier. All the interviewed students stated that language hindered communication with international students. Besides communication problems, opinion and cultural differences also influence the levels of interaction (Dyer, Trombetta, & Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013, 194). Furthermore, the problem always results,
especially when people speaking similar language remain together and to some extent speaking native languages in group meetings. To address these problems, most students concurred that it would be important practice English.
Practice makes people perfect; therefore, the interacting with students who speak English as their native language and spend more time with them would assist in learning some concept of communication. With language barrier as problem that hinders communication, it would be difficult for the foreigners and locals to interact freely. Furthermore, the students also agreed that there is for the university to have in place the mechanisms of increasing the level of interaction between the foreign and local students (Simonsen & Robertson, 2013, 214). According the interviewed students, the university could have in place some festivals and parties that bring students together. However, the institution has no mandate to force the students to make friends.
Most students agreed that there are benefits associated with having foreign friends. Although there are challenges, the student could learn more about cultural diversification, open their minds and reason from the global context, and understand the belief system of one another. Education requires teamwork irrespective of the backgrounds of the group members. From such background, the students agreed that the interaction among the students is significant to ensuring adequate studies. Furthermore, interactions also improve speaking skills among the students.
For students who have decided to study abroad, the experience might be exciting. Nevertheless, it could be very challenging. International students face problems associated with making new friends and adjusting to new environments. Through the interviews, it is clear that international students have to deal with challenges associated with academics, social isolation, and cultural judgments. Consequently, these students need to deal social isolation especially while engaging in group activities apart from those associated with academics (Chapdelaine & Alexitch, 2004, 152). It is important to note that there is often a greater attachment between the domestic and international students while in study groups. However, culturally, students have to confront different methods of thinking. Most international students are always interested in making friends with the locals. In most cases, communication always seems to the major problem defining the levels of interactions. Most international students have problems of speaking in English (Barnard & Torres-Guzmán, 2009, 101). Therefore, their initial expectation is to understand fully the language and reduce all communication barriers as a method of improving the level of interaction. Making new friends in an environment that one considers not his or hers is very difficult. Moreover, most local students have their own circle of friends of whom they hang around with and making it difficult for the international students to budge in and create new friends.
To counter such challenges, various learning institutions are providing several methods of bringing the foreign and domestic students together. For example, through job creation, mod activities, and sports play, learning institutions are offering the best platforms for interaction. Therefore, it is important that the students partake in these activities to distract themselves from homesickness and friendlessness in the event that they find it difficult to make new friends. International students cannot escape the challenges associated with cultural shock and changes that they experience while studying in different countries (Smith & Khawaja, 2011, 125). However, it is important to note that the institution has the moral obligation to force the students to interact. Therefore, international students must be ready and willing to interact with the locals.
Differences in culture across the nations define the manner in which international students interact. Although interaction among the students is important in improving the level of integration, it is crucial that institutions eliminate some of the underlying factors. The natives always have different perception on the international students, which greatly influence the level of interaction. In most cases, the institutional agents and management often promise effective integration of the international and local students. The major problem international students face is integrating new culture into theirs with most students having negative perception about them. Besides, language barrier is also another problem influencing the level of integration. Communication forms the basis of all activities done by the foreigners and domestic students. Therefore, to ensure effective and efficient communication process, both the institution and the students should be able and willing to participate in the interactive activities. Upon arrival in school, the freshmen often have their unique concerns relating to homesick and language differences contributing to constant reminders of living in the foreign land. Most researches indicate that international students are often more hesitant to seek help than the local students. Culture defines the traditions and beliefs of any given society. Lack of universality in cultural practices reflects discouragement of other cultural activities. To overcome challenges, it is significant that both the local and international students interact to feel more comfortable with one another. Homesick challenges could also pose serious problem to international students, however, the quest for education supersede them. Socialization is important at all the aspect of life irrespective of difference country, language spoken, and cultural systems. From education perspective, all students need one another to improve their communication skills, scope of thinking and enhance their flexibility across different cultures. From the research, it is evident that most students like integration of foreign and local students. However, the reason behind such activities might discourage the level of interaction.
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