I have never really been involved with international students until coming to university and having to part take in group activities as well as living with international student on campus. This experience has not only presented me with challenges, it has broadened my thinking and capabilities to better communicate and learn from different perspectives. I think that international education is seen as a positive, when we are finished university and are living in the real world, communicating and education will be linked closely with international influences. We are always wanting to incorporate international influences into our markets and tourist industries.
Some people think that international students just come here to gain there degree and then leave and that they are not interested in building relationships and ties with australian students, Marginson describes international education as ‘not the rich intercultural experience it could be’ (2012, pp.1). For me having lived with international students, have made and formed close friendships. I look forward to visiting and still to this day have always stayed in contact with them via social media.
Marginson (2012) believes that before international students come to a different country, whether their English in proficient or not, they need to practice a certain number of other skills first. These include flexibility, critical thinking, reflexivity, empathy, understand divergent points of view, cope with ambiguity and uncertainty, and culture negotiation’. I guess coming from a country that has no English speaking backgroud knowledge would make it more difficult to be able to make close connections with as barriers of communication can cause some people to not try to make effort to understand. Marginson (2012: 2) ‘Australians are often too parochial, trapped within an Australian-centred view of a diverse and complex world’.
I agree with the statement that… ‘Most international students want closer interaction with local students, and are prepared to take risks to achieve this. … most local students are not interested’ (Marginson 2012: 1)
For me personally love talking to different cultures, I’m always intrigued on how they get educated and the way they have such a different outlook on education than we might have in Australia. Our motivations are very different and learning about different people in turn is something that we as Australians can benefit from, for our own educational needs and make us more aware of other cultures.
Marginson, S 2012, ‘Morphing a profit-making business into an intercultural expereince: International education as self-formation’, Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne.