Many students, one globe!

Many students, one globe!

The way one perceives the world to be, vastly impacts the economy and well being of the individual. Our ideologies shape the world we live in today. Racism, religion and culture are mis-represented by society in the public sphere. As a result of uninformed, uneducated or biased opinions, ethnocentrism causes barriers between international and local students, which in turn creates a greater loss to the economy.

International education provides many benefits Australia. According to Marginson (2012), cultural competence may be obtained through effective interactions with international students; to be empathetic, understand divergent points of view, cope with ambiguity and uncertainty, think critically, and be conscious of different belief systems. Increasing cultural intelligence, and developing multi-cultural skills are a result of interacting commendably with ‘international students’. Marginson puts forward that these are essential skills to minimise racism, discrimination and wipe out ‘cultural fitting’.

diversity 

Judgement towards one’s values or beliefs of a particular culture may cause a substantial strain on our economical and self-growth as a society. Ethnocentrism is damaging to an individual’s ability to live freely, and learn infinitely. International students are often perceived as rich, lucky, or ‘taking over’ Australia. However, Marginson overtly disagrees. By focusing on the positive outcomes of international education, Marginson denotes that self formation and cultural competence is not fully achieved as a result of standardisation and assumptions of cultural superiority; a problem beginning from families who ‘host’ international students. The host’s subconsciously assume that the international students adjust, adapt and form an identity linked with Australian culture. A myriad of issues arise from this narrow belief or assumption; ‘cultural fit’. International students face identity issues, which in turn make it difficult to meet the necessities of survival rather than enjoy ‘voluntary adventure’. (Marginson 2012) International education benefits are universal to all aspects of the community. Therefore, we are clearly limiting our personal opportunity with each student who may have the ability to teach an individual the different elements of another culture. By marginalising our ideologies, we are constraining economic and self-growth.

international

Institutions and media are often negatively seen as the causality for racism amongst international students, however the core of the problem is the way individuals use these resources. Breaking down or altering prior values or belief systems may be difficult, therefore resources such as universities, may not provide the correct assistance in minimising racism. Therefore to escape Marginson’s idea of a parochial world and blur the distinctions between local and international students, it is necessary to make some intrinsic changes.

International students are often defined as short-term visitors, however this term isn’t so straightforward. Perhaps their “home town”, race or culture shouldn’t define international students. Instead consider all students as international students, due to their interactions with people from other cultures, their capabilities to teach or interact in cultural diverse environment. To achieve Marginson’s theory of a global formation and growth, it is essential in understanding Abdi’s ideology…‘we are all international students’.

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