Julie Hockey and Dr Carolyn McSwiney
Abstract: Concern for newly arrived international students must extend beyond the more obvious group of first year students to include a growing cohort of articulant students arriving in Australia having completed part of their degree in their home countries. This paper describes a dual ‘pre-departure’ and ‘on-arrival’ academic library program developed to meet the differential needs of this cohort in the University of South Australia. It is designed to introduce newly arrived 3rd year pharmacy students to the role of the academic library in Australia, and to Australian expectations of library use and information-seeking.
The program is the result of four years reflective practice initiated by a Health Sciences liaison librarian working with academic staff. The program aims to develop in the students information literacy skills to work both independently and collaboratively to retrieve and evaluate academic information: both essential aspects of information literacy and lifelong learning.
Keywords: transnational students; internationalisation; transnationalisation; higher education; university library.
Tryphena Jacqueline Tan and Cecelia Winkelman
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate how stress level, coping styles and personality traits contribute to international students' academic performance. Participants comprised of 100 international students across undergraduate and postgraduate levels from universities in Melbourne, Australia. Participants were aged 18 to 40 years old. Using a single sample survey design, all 100 participants completed a background information sheet, the Coping Skills Inventory, the Social Avoidance Distress Scale and the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire-Revised for Adults. Ten participants volunteered to be interviewed.
The interview was audio-taped. There were three hypotheses for this research. The first hypothesis predicted that stress level, coping styles and the personality traits of neuroticism, tough-mindedness and extraversion would explain the variation in grades of the international students. The second hypothesis predicted that the personality traits of neuroticism, tough-mindedness and extraversion would explain coping styles. The third hypothesis predicted that gender would affect coping styles and personality traits of neuroticism, tough-mindedness and extraversion. The results for the second and third hypotheses were presented and discussed. The discussion considered the difficulties faced by international students.
Key Words: International students, stress, coping style, personality
Gillian O’Neill and Grant Harris
Abstract: This paper first outlines a 12 week programme of Ongoing Academic Orientation (OAO) which was trialled in the Waikato Management School (WMS) during the 2004 A and B semesters and then reports the results of a questionnaire survey given to the students who followed the programme in A semester 2004. The questionnaire had three functions: to gather data on the trial programme’s efficacy, content, timing, and length; to gain some insights into the extent to which these students were engaging with their New Zealand English-speaking environment on a daily basis; and to determine if those taking the programme had also sought one-to-one Language and Learning (L&L) help, and if so, had they found it helpful. While the majority of students found the OAO programme and the one-to-one tutorials useful, the results on their daily use of English were of concern. Hence ways of encouraging intercultural contact through conversation classes are discussed and then recommended for inclusion alongside the OAO in future.
Keywords: Acculturation, academic support
Abstract: This paper reports on research undertaken in a university department to determine if academic staff used a range of theory-based practical teaching strategies that are promoted to assist international students adjust to Australian academe and support their learning. The department has an enrolment of 50 per cent international students and is located at a medium-size Australian university that is in the planning phase of internationalising its teaching and learning activities. A ‘mixed methods’ research approach used a questionnaire and interviews to collect data from the academic staff. The results indicate that whilst a range of teaching strategies that have the capacity to benefit international students were used, the possibility exists that some staff are approaching this from a student-centred learning model that does not necessarily exhibit a well-developed cultural dimension.
Key Words: Internationalisation, Teaching International Students, Teaching Strategies, ‘Mixed Methods’ Research
Georgina Douglas and Louisa Covalea
Abstract: There is an increasing awareness within international institutions today of the importance of an international experience for students who are about to enter our global society and economy. Student mobility programs such as traditional exchanges, work and clinical placements have long contributed to the internationalisation of teaching and learning. Now the Study Tour is an increasingly popular form of mobility chosen by both under graduate and post graduate students, international as well as local, to introduce a cross cultural perspective into their academic program. Study Tours give students a two to six weeks off-shore experience for credit and are an effective way of providing a focused view of another culture, as well as being time and cost effective.
This session is designed to illustrate how the Study Tour model contributes to socio cultural, economic and academic outcomes illustrating why it is an attractive alternative for students to the traditional exchange. A range of models current at Swinburne and RMIT Universities will be presented covering topics including academic guidelines, costings and quality assurance for Study Tours to over 20 destinations in Europe, Asia and the US. Study Tours – What are they?
Study Tours are a relatively new and increasingly popular mode of international mobility for students, along side the more conventional semester of exchange with a university’s partner institution overseas. A Study Tour can be defined as a program of study of two to four weeks (or, at the maximum, six weeks) in length where students complete a supervised academic program in intensive mode off-shore. The academic program of a Study Tour is devised according to the usual criteria for any subject in relation to its objectives, content, assessment and out-comes and is submitted through the normal academic boards for approval and registration. The subjects are usually registered as electives – and increasingly, as university wide electives. Thus, a Study Tour is not a holiday overseas with a group of persons with similar interests – although the travel involved in Study Tours is a major part of their attraction – it is a means of gaining credit for the academic program being completed within Australia in intensive mode off-shore.
Keywords: Student support, transition, academic outcomes, sociocultural outcomes, economic outcomes, study