Catherine Gomes receives funding from the Australian Research Council. Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons licence. International students who made local friends were more satisfied with their international education.
They were also more willing to recommend their university to others. The report, released by the International Graduate Insight Groupsurveyed 60, international students across 48 universities. It revealed that levels of satisfaction varied across national groups. Researchers found that students from China — the largest source of international students — are some of the least satisfied Aussie chinese student 1 their experience.
Most of the international students were generally happy with their overseas education experience, but those who were not said they would not recommend their institutions to others. While the study does not suggest Aussie chinese student 1 unhappy international students will lead to the downfall of our lucrative international education industry, it does prompt us to ask why they are unhappy, and what can be done about it.
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According to the Graduate Insight Group study, the unhappiest students are those who interact primarily with other students from their home country. In other words, not having local friends seems to be a cause for sadness.
Research into the well-being of international students suggests that integration with local students makes for happier and healthier individuals. International students who have local friends note that they experience less culture shock, feel less homesick and Aussie chinese student 1 generally more well-adjusted than those who have few or no local friends.
International students, particularly those from Asia, are often perceived as hanging out primarily with other international students. My ongoing research suggests that this perception is not far off the mark.
I am finding that the Asian international students I spoke to admit that they have very few or no local friends. They inform me that the only times they meet Australians is in their lectures and tutorials. This is not surprising since they are here to study and their primary contact with Australians is Aussie chinese student 1 their courses. By and large, my interviewees said that while they wanted to interact with Australians, they believed that locals felt otherwise.
They blamed themselves for their lack of Australian friends, pointing to their lack of English skills and status as foreigners with little in common with Australians as Aussie chinese student 1 for not having Aussie mates. International students thus have little recourse but to hang out with fellow international students. This is not an industry we want to lose, both Aussie chinese student 1 economic reasons and because international students provide social benefits, giving Australians valuable opportunities to meet, mix and mingle with nationalities, cultures and ethnicities different or even similar to their own.
But how do we influence their social interactions? University-based social programs can play an important role. Universities often have excellent orientation programs for new international students.
Chinese students have complained about...
However, these specialised programs take place before the institution-wide orientation day, preventing the opportunity to socialise with local students and increasing the likelihood that international students will only make friends with other international students. By the time the new local students hit campus, international students will already have established the friends they will be hanging out with for the year.
Universities need to create inclusive orientation programs that foster interaction between local and international students. One way to do this would be to actively include interstate and country students in the international student orientation program.
International students would thus meet Australians who are in some ways just as alien as they are. This would also offer Australian students new to the state or the area a guided introduction while making some new international friends.
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To increase international student happiness, and thereby protect our billion-dollar education industry and its associated social benefits, we need to make sure that international students are integrated into Australian society. It is not enough simply to provide them with an Australian education.
We need to provide them with opportunities to make Australian mates and to encourage them to participate fully in the social experience of living and studying in Australia.
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Available editions United Kingdom. International students are more likely to be satisfied with their university when they make Aussie chinese student 1 friends. Making mates with Aussies According to the Graduate Insight Group study, the unhappiest students are those who interact primarily with other students from their home country.
What can we do about it?
International students international student exchange. The Conversation is a non-profit. Help knowledge-based, ethical journalism today. You might also like The number of international students at Australian universities has increased significantly in the past decade.
Group of students from www. Have cheating and Aussie chinese student 1 increased in universities as a symptom of more international students or just of more students? Visiting universities while in high school helps to demystify higher education. Research collaborations between Australian and Asian students are crucial to build links, Prof Purcell said.
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