International education is not the rich intercultural experience it could be (Marginson 2012). Many believe that this is because Australians are too often parochial, trapped within an Australia-centred view of the world. These local practices must change.
So how do we fix this?
A lot of the research acquired suggests that the pathway to improvement revolves around the interactions between international students and local people. These interactions create both educational and welfare benefits. This is beneficial through the social aspects of making friends, the educational aspects of becoming more familiar with the language, and the psychological aspects of becoming more confident.
(Image found here)
Some examples of improvement are:
- Compulsory seminars to explain the potential educational and social outcomes that internal education brings for both international and local students.
- Clubs and Groups that encourage interaction between international and local students
- A ‘buddy’ system. International students will have a local ‘buddy’ for the first month of there time in their new country, who will show them around and help with anything unfamiliar.
- Becoming aware of what cultural competence is. According to the EYLF, Cultural competence is underpinned by these principles:
Secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships, partnerships, high expectations and equality, respect for diversity, ongoing learning and reflective practice.
– Morphing a profit-making business into an intercultural experience
Until next time,