In 2013, there was a 2.6% increase in the number of international students on Australian education providers’ campuses as compared to 2012. Enrollment reached 526,932 last year and this trend is mirrored on a global scale making cross-cultural engagement an inescapable part of the educational experience. Cross-cultural social encounters can potentially heighten personal development and afford exceptional opportunities for global networking. In most cases this embodies the most beneficial element of the experience of an international student.
An international study experience in Australia can be a life-changing and rewarding one. However, studying in a foreign country can be distressing, disorienting and socially devastating. Education & migration agents provide services to international students to help make the transition to the new country as seamlessly and painlessly as possible. Also, most Australian professors are friendly and supportive of international students. Problems usually arise when overseas students have to communicate and relate to other students. To succeed as an international student in Australia one must possess some basic skills that include:
Although it’s initially alarming, especially for naturally shy people, an international student must make an effort to open up and even initiate the first-step in getting to know the other students. Some people, even if they want to, hesitate to approach someone who appears aloof and not inclined to communicate.
Being open and approachable will greatly help in fostering a successful social interaction with local students and other international students.
Diplomacy, also called negotiation skill is a talent an international student will need in time. It is a social skill that allows a person to settle differences and reach an agreement or compromise without resorting to disputes or arguments.
Disagreements and conflicts cannot be avoided from time-to-time because of different beliefs, aims, wants, needs and even sometimes because of language barrier. Without diplomacy or negotiating skills such conflicts or disagreements can blow up into an all out squabble leading to acrimony on both sides. The point of diplomacy is to attempt to arrive at a compromise without creating roadblocks to future interactions.
This is a personal trait of of being confident and sure of oneself without being hostile, although it is frequently mistaken for aggression. An assertive person intends to be neither aggressive nor apathetic in its intercommunication with others. Non-assertiveness could appear as the use of ineffective communication skills; on the other hand, assertiveness is thought-out as an equitable response – neither aggressive nor passive.
Assertiveness implies affirming one’s personal rights – communicating beliefs, feelings and thoughts in an honest, direct and relevant manner without threatening other people.
The Art of Relating and Listening to Others
International students who are skilled in relating to others are also adept in listening and understanding the people around them. Generally, they also are able to commiserate and appreciate with other points of view even if they are not in agreement with it.
Listening and being attentive to what other people say will earn them the respect of the locals who will sense the sincerity and genuineness behind the attention. As a response, they too will react in kind.
A Sense of Humor
Others gravitate towards people with a sense of humor. International students with a positive outlook to life will easily gain new friends that will make adapting to the new country and new culture much easier and faster.