Internationalising education

From studying at university, I’ve come to see how multicultural, international and engaging our world can be. When I first started studying, I absolutely hated group work, having to be put into groups of people that I didn’t know and come up with an assignment together? No thankyou! However now, after a few semesters, I can really appreciate the use of group work within a subject and how it gets new people together from all over the world. I have made many new friends from socialising and interacting with other people, not just other Australian students, but American, Asian and European as well.

Marginson describes international education as ‘not the rich intercultural experience it could be’ (2012, pp.1). Some agree with Marginson, thinking that international students just come to Australia, get their degree or diploma, and then leave again. They don’t get involved with many of the locals and stick together or by themselves. According to Kell and Vogl (2007), international student find it hard to understand Australians’, because of our shortened words and colloquial language. This means that the international students lack confidence in speaking to anyone who is local, and for the many years they practice English as a second language, they can’t use it to talk or have a decent conversation. Another problem is that international students feel its hard to ‘break the ice’ and begin conversation with locals, and also that many Australians didn’t know much about the international students culture or countries of origin.

Marginson (2012) believes that before international students come to a different country, whether their English in proficient or not, they need to practice a certain number of other skills first. These include flexibility, critical thinking, reflexivity, empathy, understand divergent points of view, cope with ambiguity and uncertainty, and culture negotiation’. Coming to a different country to study by yourself would be one of the hardest things to I think. With the added difficulties of language barriers and culture differences, I can understand why international students stick to themselves and are shy around locals. Through a greater understanding of the difficulties international students face and the difficulties they have in trying to understand our speech, I will personally make more of an effort to talk to international students in my tutorials, or even just around the university.

References
Kell, P and Vogl, G 2007, ‘International students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes’, Everyday Multiculturalism Conference

Marginson, S 2012, ‘Morphing a profit-making business into an intercultural expereince: International education as self-formation’, Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne.

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Globalisation

Globalisation refers to a community that has been shaped by technological development and by different economical, political, and military interests. Our world is constantly being shaped and changed by international influences, where globalisation can be seen to have both positive and negative characteristics, depending on your personal view.

A positive look on globalisation forms a ‘utopian view’, suggesting that people around the world are brought closer together by global communication and technology. Globalisation offers a sense of ‘interconnectedness’ by facilitating interpersonal communication and virtual communication with people from all around the world, from different racial, geographic, demographic, religious, and cultural groups. Marshall McLuhan uses the phrase ‘the global village’, where he believes the world is connected through technology, travel and trade, and believes everyone should freely have the chance for their voice to be heard. Globalisation makes us more aware of other cultures, which helps to break down certain barriers that exist between nations.

On the other hand, globalisation can be looked upon as negative, also known as a ‘dystopian view’. Globalisation has been seen to create a loss of tradition, the illusion of freedom and a loss of traditional identity within different countries. Cultural imperialism is a major issue, where we see a dominance of certain cultures spreading worldwide, mainly through the distribution of cultural products. We can see how this is apparent, with the intrusion of Western cultures and values commercialising and spreading throughout the world, for example into developing countries such as Indonesia. Another negative issue brought about by globalisation is the ever-growing gap between the rich and the poor. This may be an unexpected fact to believe due to the way our world is so interconnected and interdependent, however with this comes more benefits for big businesses and wealthy individuals, and more jobs being cut.

So with the rich are becoming richer and the poor are becoming poorer, do we think is it possible to have this ‘global village’, where everyone lives in harmony? I am not sure whether this can work, no matter what context you look at it however I do feel globalisation is both a positive and negative thing. Letting the world be able to be accessible to anyone around the globe is an amazing thing, yet I feel strongly about nations protecting and preserving their own individuality and culture identity.

Here is a clip I found from one of favourite television shows ‘Modern Family’, that I think is hilarious and also shows the awareness of globalisation within our multicultural countries.

“I’m from Denver.” from John 8Asians on Vimeo.

References
O’Shaughnessy, M & Stadler, J, c2012, ‘Globalisation’, Media and society, 5th edition, chapter 25, South Melbourne, Victoria, Oxford University Press