STUDENT’S ADJUSTMENT TO AUSTRALIAN UNIVERSITY CULTURE Essay Example

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    Education
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    High School
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UNIVERSITY
CULTURE EXPERIENCE IN AUSTRALIA

Department:

UNIVERSITY
CULTURE EXPERIENCE IN AUSTRALIA

According to Kroeber & Kluckhohn (1952), culture is a way of living
that
differentiates one community from the
other. It
includes
beliefs, attitudes, and
customers
practiced in a particular
community that are different from the
other
communities. Transmission of culture
occurs through many
factors
such
language, rituals
and
material
things, among others, transferred from one generation to the
other. To sum it
all, the
term
culture is a general
term that defines a group of people
behavior
patterns. Culture is in people’s mind
and manifests through behavior

.The
university is a community that has its own behavioral patterns
inherited from generation to generation. International
universities
often
have
challenges
defining a culture that balances
all their students’ unique
identity
and
culture. Educators
face
situations
where
they
have to treat
learners
differently
because of the
diversity of their cultural
backgrounds. Students
learn in very
diverse
ways
because
they
have
approach
styles, talents
and
interests to learning that are cultivated from their cultural
background as well as their social, economic
status (Altbach & Knight, 2007; Volet & Ang, 1998)

.Most Australian Universities treat
students as if
they
were
the
same. Students
read
the
same
books, same
quantity
and
quality of the
learning content, same curriculum and
the
same
schedule. Teachers
teach
students as whole
groups, providing
same
information
and
skills at the
same
time to all
students
forgetting
that
students
hear
similar
instructions
differently from the
teacher depending on how
they
relate with the
meaning of those
instructions. Moreover, the
tests
administered are the
same. It is a disadvantage to students
whose
culture
taught them different
learning
habits from the one practiced in a particular
university (Robertson, Line, Jones, & Thomas, 2000) One

.day
I
was
late
submitting my assignment. The
teacher
was
furious about it. I
kept
silent about it as I was
busy
preparing
for
the exams. One week
passed and
he
decided to summon
me in his office
the
following Monday after the
lesson. I
remember
that Monday we
had an important
football
match
and
being
the
teams’ captain, I had to attend. Therefore, I
did not answer to his summon or
communicate to him. Next
lesson
he
rudely
called
me to the
front of the
class
and
rebuked me for
laziness in class
work despite having
had
the
highest
cumulative
points in that
class
the
previous
semester

.The
worst
came
when
I
faced
down. In my
culture, when someone is guilty
looking
down is a sign of acceptance of the
mistake
and
respect to the
person
talking to you. He
harshly
inquired
why
I
looked
down. However, I
had
no
answers
and could not lift my head to face him. I
was
feeling I have
wronged him and
being my teacher (senior) to me I had to show
respect
and
maybe
later
apologize through writing. Little
did
I
know
that in Australia, facing
down
when a senior
person is talking to you is a sign of disrespect
and disinterest to an elder
person. To make
matters
worse, silence
meant ‘don’t care’ in Australian culture

.It
was
my
third
year in Australia. The
incidence
irritated
my
teacher and I was
given a discontinuation in that
course. Attempts to make a plea through apology
letters
did not help. Nobody had
ever
taught
me
the
cultural
disparities
that I may face
being in Australia. I
blamed
myself
too
because I had
never
had an interest enquiring what
challenges
existed
schooling in another
country. I
wouldn’t
wish to have a similar
incident
again. Therefore, I
researched
and
reflected on cultural
disparities
and
challenges
faced by international
students in Australia and
how to overcome them. There are few
techniques
which can help
international
students
overcoming
the
difficulties of adjusting to Australians universities
culture

.Foremost is learning
and
comprehending Australian universities
culture through internet research, sharing with students
and enquiring from government
organs like embassy (Carroll & Ryan, 2005). Understanding of issues that are different
and
understanding
the
education
system, teaching
and
learning
disparities
that someone may face
is a prophylaxis
treatment before he/she face by challenges that affect his/her academic
success. Moreover, it
provides
adequate
time
and
opportunity
for someone to develop coping mechanism that aid in training (Carroll & Ryan, 2005)

.I
had
difficulties
learning in Australia because of the
teachers’ norm
whereby
they
taught us through groups. In my
country, individual
learning
and
assessment are most
valued. That
way, every
student
effort, is measured
individually. However, in Australia, most of the
work
was
done in groups. Teachers
emphasized
group
work
assignments that left
me
feeling I could have
achieved
better than what I got through participating in group
activities. Had
I
known their approach to teaching before settling in Australian university
class, I would have
made up my mind to fit in their teaching
and
learning
culture

.The
second
methods that can help
international
students
overcoming
the
difficulties of adjusting to Australians universities
culture is focusing on getting
the
most
while on foundation
preparation
course
and
diploma
course
still. Immediately someone lands in an Australia university, the
next
important
thing is to learn
the
university
community
way
teaching, learning
and
doing
things. Observation, enquiries from friends
and classmates will do a great
job in helping someone get
the
most during early
years of study. By the
time one or two years are over, someone is already ascribed to the
culture of the
university (Stromquist & Monkman, 2000)

.My
first
few
years in Australian university
were
characterized by boredom, and
little
interaction with other
students. I
rarely
interacted with many
people
and
they
respected my silence
and
discipline in the
football
game. I
was
never
interested to learn
new
skills
there. Having
passed
excellently in my
country
made me think I had all the
skills
needed to succeed
everywhere in the
world. But
this
cost
me a discontinuation in one of my subject, in final
years of my study. It
was
painful
punishment
for
me, parents
and
sponsor

.The
last
method is whereby
universities
teach
studying
skills at an earlier
age to enhance
students cognitively. Therefore, international
students will have a good
foundation to learn
the
education
culture
practiced in Australian Universities. They will be best
equipped to understand
how
they are expected to act
and
how
they
expect others to act
thus
creating a harmonious
university
community
culture (Hellstén & Prescott, 2004)

.I
was
taught
studying
skills in the
third
year
just after the
experience of repeating a subject after the
embarrassing
incident in the classroom. Studying
skills
unit
presented
the
opportunity
for
the
professor to teach
cultural
diversity
and
mechanisms of learning
and coping effectively with people from diverse
backgrounds with diverse
behaviors
and expectations. If
I
was
taught
that
earlier, I feel
what
happened to me in class would not have
occurred. Universities
need to introduce
studying
skill
lessons
earlier to enable
students cope with stresses
and
the
strain of studying in international
universities In

.conclusion, a combination of personal
initiative to learn Australian university
culture
especially in preparation
course
and
diploma
course
and
the
university
initiative to teach
studying
skills at early
years
provide
the
best
approach to address
culture
challenges of education
for
international
students. Moreover, a student’s initiative is most
important
because
repercussions of ignorance
affect a person. The
experience has taught
me
people
differ on how
they
act
and
think. Understanding of these
individual
differences can help
universities
develop
equal
opportunity
environment
for
the
success of all
students (Carroll & Ryan, 2005; Hellstén & Prescott, 2004; Robertson et al., 2000).

REFERENCES

Altbach, P. G., & Knight, J. (2007). The internationalization of higher education: Motivations and realities. Journal of Studies in International Education, 11(3-4), 290–305.

Carroll, J., & Ryan, J. (2005). Teaching international students: Improving learning for all. Routledge. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=n7BPRGgdzGcC&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=education+culture+in+international+Australian+universities&ots=va2lW4jvuF&sig=FDFpKT2FOCfyErzbzfVwxKCTYXc

Hellstén, M., & Prescott, A. (2004). Learning at University: The International Student Experience. International Education Journal, 5(3), 344–351.

Kroeber, A. L., & Kluckhohn, C. (1952). Culture: A critical review of concepts and definitions. Papers. Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, Harvard University. Retrieved from http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1953-07119-001

Robertson, M., Line, M., Jones, S., & Thomas, S. (2000). International students, learning environments and perceptions: A case study using the Delphi technique. Higher Education Research and Development, 19(1), 89–102.

Stromquist, N. P., & Monkman, K. (2000). Globalization and education: Integration and contestation across cultures. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=BWpuAAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR3&dq=education+culture+in+international+Australian+universities&ots=MCWBgWQJ-S&sig=LEnKz_6fLbzOjA2yQ_Q4E1s9EwE

Volet, S. E., & Ang, G. (1998). Culturally mixed groups on international campuses: An opportunity for inter-cultural learning. Higher Education Research & Development, 17(1), 5–23.