Student Support

The Contribution of Stress Level Coping Styles and Personality Traits to International Students

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

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Articulating students: differential needs: an academic library’s response

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.

 

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Management, Compliance and Support Services for School Students.

Judith Vincent, Judy Thompson, Don Stojanovic

Introduction: What are the challenges in managing an international program for school students and monitoring compliance across a large system such as the NSW government school system? How do NSW government schools support young international students adjusting to a new cultural and educational environment and help them succeed?

The NSW government school system has over 2000 international students enrolled in over 160 schools across the state. In managing a large and diverse program, NSW Department of Education and Training has developed a strong support network for international students through the partnership between the central administrative office and schools, communication and collaboration, the development of an e-business strategy, and support in schools based on student needs.

Key words: monitoring compliance, school students, support network, e-business

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From Student to Student Adviser: A Delicate Transition

Nicholas Tan, Megan Jager

Abstract only: Trends indicate that increasing numbers of International students are applying for Permanent Residency in Australia after their studies. International student leaders are endowed with academic knowledge, and the skills and experience of having worked in an International student environment.

In 2003, when one of its student advisers left, Edith Cowan University’s (ECU) International Student Support Team realised it needed to fill the void quickly. Believing strongly in the importance of student consultation in planning its activities, it tapped into one of its student leaders on a temporary basis, and almost immediately realised the permanent benefits this scenario could provide. Since then, it has gone on to hire more staff from the student leader cohort in a range of positions.

This paper discusses the transition from student and peer, to staff and authority figure in the context of the ECU experience. It explores in depth the advantages and challenges this brings to, and from the perspective of, the student population and the International Office.

Key Words:
International Student Adviser, Support Services, Transition, Peer Support, Enhance Services.

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Empowering International Students to Prepare for their Working Life

Greg Calvert

Abstract:  The paper draws on research of 110 international fee-paying students studying Science and Engineering courses in the Schools, Vocational Education and Training, and Higher Education sectors in nine institutions in five Australian states and territories. The research identified that 68 percent of the sample had not had career advice before coming to Australia. This has implications for students’ understandings of Australian education and training, especially entry procedures into courses and the students’ likely success in undertaking courses of study. When onshore in Australia 58 percent of the sample had sought careers advice.Males more than females, were more likely to seek such advice from their institution. Of those accessing careers advice 21 percent indicated that there was room for improvement of service provision. Research by the students into the recognition of their Australian course in their home country was undertaken by 53 percent of the sample.

Issues associated with existing career provision are discussed and mapped against the draft Australian Blueprint for Career Development strands of Personal Management, Learning and Work Exploration, and Career Building. There are implications for staff working in admissions, marketing, international and careers offices as well as those professional bodies that support existing career provision. The findings also have implications for students and the way they develop their career management skills to avail themselves of appropriate programs. The paper explores how students can best be empowered to take responsibility for their career planning.

Key Words:  International students, careers, career pathways, Australian Blueprint of Career Development, Australian education and training

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