“A trouble shared ...”: Conversations for survival

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Quality Conversations Vol. 25

July, 2002, 794 pages
Published by
Tony Herrington
ISBN
0 908557 54 X
Abstract 

Increasing numbers of overseas students are enrolled at Australian universities through twinning arrangements between Australian and Asian higher education institutions. These students usually study one or two years of their Australian degree at the twinned institution offshore and then come to Australia to complete their degrees. However, many of these students experience considerable difficulty surviving the transition to living and learning at their Australian university. This paper details a collaborative multimedia project based on conversations between university staff and international students making this transition. The result of this sharing has been the development of an interactive CD-Rom to better prepare future students. The project explores notions of culture and cultural transition and focuses on understanding and navigating differences between national cultures, and also between educational cultures so that students can better understand and meet academic expectations in Australia. Although the project focuses initially on the needs of overseas students entering the authors’ university in the second or third year of a degree majoring in media and communication studies, it hopefully can be used as a model for the development of quality educational packages for international students in other courses of study.

Keywords: international students, cultural transition, academic expectations

“A trouble shared ...”: Conversations for survival

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Beasley, C. & Watts, J.