Student voice: A powerful and realistic way to prepare students for study in Australia
Carol Dalglish, Christian Haker, Lynda Lawson, Peter Nelson and Martin Reese
Abstract: Australian universities are welcoming an increasingly diverse range of international students and they are doing this in the context of increasing international competition for these students. It is vital that our institutions are clear about the nature of the learning experience that they are offering students. Not just the content, but the learning processes, and challenges of daily life. University marketing activities cannot be divorced from the educational experience. Students share their experiences with potential students, and word of mouth marketing is extremely powerful.
To address some of these issues QUT International Students Services in partnership with Faculties created a data DVD which prepares prospective students for study at QUT by setting realistic expectations and giving students a taste of what living and studying in Brisbane is like. It contains nineteen short videos and draws extensively on student voices to articulate the challenges and the achievements of studying in Australia.
This paper will outline the process by which the DVD was created using a very small budget, a German film and television intern, drawing on considerable pools of expertise from both staff and students and by building on goodwill and cooperation across different sectors of the university.
Key Words: International students, transition, preparation, DVD
Income security of international students in Australia
Helen Forbes-Mewett, et al
Abstract: Growth in the number of international students studying in English language countries has slowed in recent years and this development has generated extended debate amongst university managers and policy makers. In these discussions much attention has focussed on whether the slow down is to be explained by currency realignments, visa requirements, the quality of education, or the increasing competitiveness of the international education market. But what has attracted little attention is the fact that when parents and students choose in which country they will purchase a foreign education their choice is commonly influenced by the level of security that is perceived to characterise the range of options. What security means can take many forms and in this paper we focus on income security. Drawing on interview data from 9 Australian universities, we clarify the sources of international student income, the extent to which these students experience income security/insecurity, how they cope with income difficulties and/or ensure finances do not become a serious problem, and whether the nature of the information provided by governments and universities helps explain the extent of income insecurity manifest amongst international students in Australia. We argue that a significant proportion of international students studying in Australia do experience income insecurity and suggest that for both moral and economic reasons the government and the university sector should pay increased attention to this aspect of student need.
Key Words: International students, education, finances, income, security, poverty
Keep it Safe: A Guide for International Women Students
Abstract: The presentation takes participants through the content of our newly launched website “Keep it Safe: A Guide for International Women Students” . The website content is simple and accessible and provides comprehensive, relevant information that's easy to understand and navigate, with a positive spin on safety for women. Developed from conversations with International women students over a period of 12 months, the 9 sections together take a wholistic focus on women’s safety and women’s experiences as an international student, from eating and exercising, to nightclubbing, to sharehousing, studying, sexual harassment, race discrimination to choices about sex, and we’ve tried to be as culturally sensitive and relevant as possible.
The web information encourages women to make the most of their experience as an international student, explore the world and themselves; rather than frighten, or insight apprehension or blame. Each section includes a brief explanation, some practical advice to avoid unsafe situations, and a comprehensive contact directory for getting more support and assistance. The sections covered are:
· Safety and You: Making friends and staying healthy
· Safety and Housing: Your rights and the rights of your landlord, keeping a good relationship with housemates
· Safety and Studying: Sexual Harassment on campus, complaints process, assertiveness vs. rudeness
· Safety and Work: understanding basic workrights, sexual harassment and race discrimination at work, OHS, sexwork, visa issues
· Safety and Getting Around: Travelling safely in different forms of transport during the day and night
· Safety and Nightlife/Partying: Common party drugs, drink spiking, sexual assault
· Safety, Dating and Relationships: What is dating, starting a new relationship in a new country
· Safety, Sex and the Law: Safe sex, contraception, STI’s, pregnancy, same-sex relationships, sexual assault
· Safety, Reporting to Police and Your Visa: What does and doesn’t affect you visa, the role of police when reporting sexual assault
The Web address is: www.union.rmit.edu.au/legal/keepitsafe
Key Words: International women students, safety
The safety of our International Students - A proactive approach
Abstract: Each year, the University of Queensland opens its doors to thousands of new international students.
Although Student Support Services at the University of Queensland introduce international students to some essential safety issues relating to their new environment within the first few days after arrival, it has become apparent that given the number of avoidable critical accidents over the past few years, more specific information was needed to ensure students are made sufficiently aware of the dangers and hazards of their new surroundings. This practice based paper aims to describe the design and implementation of the ‘Safety and International Students’ session at the University of Queensland, and the measures taken to ensure that the information provided caters to the needs of international students. Further, this session is designed to introduce, reinforce and equip international students with a greater knowledge base of safety issues that is imperative to maximise their safe stay and reduce behaviour induced and therefore preventable critical accidents. The safety session is a compulsory one hour component of Orientation Week and is repeated twice to allow for maximum attendance. This study is a result of two years of reflective practice initiated by the International Student Advisers at the University of Queensland. Six hundred and fifty-three student evaluations were collated over the two years and feedback provided was very positive. This Safety Session was also presented at the Queensland ISANA Branch Meeting in March 2006 and was extremely well received.
Keywords: Safety, International Students, Critical Incidents, Duty of Care, Risk minimisation
Young, Worried and in a Foreign Culture
Abstract: The Confucian-heritage background, the country of origin and the age of the students in this study have all been found to contribute to the problems experienced by these students, the sources of help they use, and how they relate to these problems. These things must then be considered in providing support services for these students. In particular, the importance of these students’ friends in the help-seeking process must be noted and utilised as much as possible.
Key words: adaptation, Confucian-heritage culture, help-seeking behaviour, counselling services, interpersonal relationships, cultural influences, problem solving