I have always been envious of people who can speak more than one language. I still remember the flight to Europe where my sister and I spent the whole time trying to pronounce words and create sentences in French, (mind you we carried a little French book around with us whilst we were in Paris and Nice). Ever since attending University I have met many international students and have made many close friends. Having some experience overseas and travelling to different places where different languages are spoken, I have some understanding of how daunting it can be at first for international students when they first arrive.
Studying abroad allows international students to further their knowledge, improve their English and develop close relationships with local students. The idea of multiplicity shown in the reading ‘International education as self-formation’ demonstrates how, “we all have multiple connections, multiple settings in which we live our lives, home, family, locality, profession, arenas in which we are active, in one place and another. We move freely between one setting and the other.”(Marginson, 2012)
In 2010-2011 there were 250 000 international student visas accepted. In 2010 males made up 54% of international students and females made up 46%. In 2011 two thirds of international students from Nepal and India were males whilst two thirds of international students from Thailand and United States of America were females. In 2011 there were more female international students then males from China, Korea, Vietnam and Malaysia. ‘Australian Bureau of Statistics, (2012)’
These statistics demonstrate the diversity of international students that enter Australia. Why does Australia seem to attract so many international students? Is it because of our ‘laid back, easy-going, friendly’ exterior? Originally this would have been my first thought however after reading ‘International students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes’ and how some international students felt “Australians did not want to get to know them” or “they did not feel confident talking to Australians” (kell, & Vogl 2007).This started to make me think, was this how all international students felt? For me personally I love meeting new people and especially international students, not only does this allow you to learn about different cultures but it allows you to have a connection with people from all around the world.
International students at Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT)
Compared to the reading ‘International education as self-formation’ I felt that ‘International students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes’ portrayed local students in a more negative light. Talking to international students that I know, they found that Australians were very interested in getting to know them and had no problems with introducing themselves to Australians.
International students learn and experience many different things and by interacting with international students we can also learn and experience many different things.
Australian Australian Bureau of Statistics (2012) “International students” accessed on 15/8/13 http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4102.0Main+Features20Dec+2011
kell, P & Vogl, G (2007) “International students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes” reading
Marginson, S (2012) “International education as self-formation” reading