Australian Society and Environment
The following may be attractive to international students about Australia, its society, people and environment:
Australia’s multicultural society (http://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/en/Why-Study-in-Australia/Multicultural) is sophisticated and largely harmonious. More than 100 ethnic groups are represented in Australia, making Australia one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. 47% of the population are either born outside of Australia, or have one parent born outside of Australia. International students are readily accepted by other students, and teachers are experienced in teaching classes to students from many countries. Australians respect the freedom of people to practise their choice of religion. Churches, mosques,temples and synagogues are located in most major cities. Some universities have their own spiritual groups on campus.
Australia has low crime rates and strict gun control laws that provide a safe environment. Study plans and progress are not likely to be upset by political unrest. The 2011 OECD (http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org) Better Life Index rates Australia as 9.3 out of 10 for safety.
Australians are open, relaxed and friendly people so students usually find a warm welcome in Australia. Many students living in home stay situations experience Australian family life in a natural way and often find they are treated like a family member. 5 out of 30 best student cities in the world are in Australia (Top University Rankings 2012). Even though there are only 23 million people in Australia, it has the third highest number of International students in the world. Whether staying in home stay, boarding school or campus accommodation there are many opportunities to make lasting friendships.
Australia is a land of contrasts and adventure from beaches in summer to snow fields in winter,and from coastal rain forests to vast inland deserts. Students can experience exciting leisure and sporting activities such as bush walking, diving, surfing, and rock-climbing.Many students enjoy the opportunity to interact with Australian people through a range of cultural activities (http://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/en/Living-in-Australia/Culture) and sporting events.
Studying in Australia involves meeting and interacting with people from all over the world. In order to gain the most from the experience, students should be encouraged to respect and learn about how other cultures and nationalities differ from their own. Cultures may have different attitudes towards: Individual rights and collective rights (in Australia, generally the rights of the individual person are considered more important than the well-being of the community as a whole) Power and inequality (most Australians are prepared to challenge the opinions of powerful people, eg teachers) Uncertainty (Australian people are reasonably comfortable with uncertain situations and do not expect explicit rules of behaviour in all circumstances) Equality for females (Australian people generally believe that females are the equals of males and should receive the same rights and rewards) Work and Play (Australians put great value on their “lifestyle” and their opportunities to enjoy sport, holidays etc. Other Asian cultures emphasise work as more important) Formality (Australians are quite informal in their interactions with one another compared to many other cultures) Non verbal communication (for example, how close people stand to one another in conversation or do they accept touching or handshakes with strangers) An agent needs to be aware of their own cultural attitudes and their student’s likely cross-cultural challenges when assisting their students to settle in Australia. This includes understanding aspects of the teaching and learning environment in Australia that may be different and any behaviour and language that would seem unusual or unacceptable in the student’s own country.
In a classroom or lecture situation, Australian students are expected to demonstrate initiative and ask questions of the teacher or lecturer. This is not seen as disrespectful as it might in some other cultures but demonstrates to the teacher that the student is fully engaged in the lesson. Australian educators put much less emphasis on memory recall than Asian countries, and typically students in Australia will be required to undertake group projects and undertake independent research on how to solve problems as part of most courses. These skills may not commonly be required of students in their own cultures and they may be unfamiliar with how to approach such ideas. In particular, negotiating with other students to present a group project can be quite stressful for some international students especially as some of the other students in their group may not be particularly cooperative. In Australian education culture, the ability to learn and work with other people together and overcome inter-personal difficulties is highly regarded.
Australians often use quite colloquial (informal) language to be friendly and welcoming. This can be quite confusing for international students especially if they have studied American or British English.The meaning of these spoken expressions may be unfamiliar with students who are new to Australia: She’ll be right. No worries. How ya’ goin’? Java good weekend? Good on ya’. Fair dinkum Some of these expressions are frequently used and so students will probably pick them up quite easily and quickly.
There are over 1,200 institutions and over 22,000 courses on offer for International students consideringAustralia as a destination. Importantly, Australian education institutions have an international reputation for excellence in many disciplines.
Some of the reasons for this are as follows:
a. Institutions deliver practical and career-orientated training so graduates can be confident they have the skills demanded by employers.
b. Australia has a reputation as an innovative and research-intensive culture.
c. Academic staff are recruited from around the world and often are leading industry experts in their field.
d. Australian teachers are experienced in supervising students from many countries.
e. Each year student and staff exchange programs are forged from Australia’s international links with education institutions in the USA, UK, Canada, Europe and Asia.
f. Australia has a reputation for adopting new technologies at a faster rate than in most other countries and has one of the highest rates of Internet access in the world.
g. Facilities for teaching, training and research are world-class in terms of state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms, outstanding libraries and modern technology.
|STATE / TERRITORY||UNIVERSITY NAME|
|Australian CapitalTerritory||The Australian National University (http://www.anu.edu.au)|
|University of Canberra (http://www.canberra.edu.au)|
|New South Wales||Australian Catholic University (http://www.acu.edu.au)|
|Charles Sturt University (http://www.csu.edu.au)|
|Macquarie University (http://www.mq.edu.au)|
|Southern Cross University (http://www.scu.edu.au)|
|The University of Newcastle (http://www.newcastle.edu.au)|
|The University of New England (http://www.une.edu.au)|
|The University of New South Wales (http://www.unsw.edu.au)|
|The University of Sydney (http://www.usyd.edu.au)|
|University of Technology Sydney (http://www.uts.edu.au)|
|University of Western Sydney (http://www.uws.edu.au)|
|University of Wollongong (http://www.uow.edu.au)|
|Northern Territory||Charles Darwin University (http://www.cdu.edu.au)|
|Queensland||Bond University (http://www.bond.edu.au)|
|Central Queensland University (http://www.cqu.edu.au)|
|Griffth University (http://www.gu.edu.au)|
|James Cook University (http://www.jcu.edu.au)|
|Queensland University of Technology (http://www.qut.edu.au)|
|The University of Queensland (http://www.uq.edu.au)|
|University of Southern Queensland (http://www.usq.edu.au)|
|University of the Sunshine Coast (http://www.usc.edu.au)|