The paper “ Being an International Student in Australia - Challenges and Opportunities” is an actual variant of a personal statement on education. I was born and brought up in Kuwait. Throughout my life, I have often had the desire to study information technology considering that it is one of the most interesting and lucrative professional fields in the world today. This is largely associated with the fact that technology especially in the communication sector is often experiencing numerous changes and challenges and proper studies and qualifications in this sector will not only land me a good job opportunity it will also provide a platform for learning and experiencing different aspects of technology. I was born in a family of six and I am the second born.
In my family, there are three ladies and three gentlemen all of whom are dedicated to their studies. In 2011, I took a leap of faith and began my academic journey in Australia. I was excited and very anxious to begin this journey considering that being an international student it is always difficult to be certain of what to expect in terms of culture, and other challenges or surprises related to the lifestyle in a foreign county.
I consider the decision to study in Australia under scholarship as one of the most difficult decisions that I have ever taken. One of the most disturbing expectations was derived from the stories that I had heard about studying abroad. I was told that it would require a lot of hard work considering the challenges that are associated with the experiences of international students. Studying in a foreign country can present numerous opportunities as well as challenges to an international student.
This is in consideration of the cultural challenges and benefits associated with studying in Australia. What I have experienced in Australia is beyond my expectation when perceived in a positive way. Since 2011 I have experienced not only a peaceful learning environment but also strong support from my teachers who have played a role in ensuring that the environment in my school is not only interactive but also supportive in my work. The application of different teaching methods was also of great assistance since these techniques made the classes interesting.
During my time in Australia, I have had an opportunity to engage different IT experts in different forums and this has provided me with great insights concerning my IT profession. Other than the academic opportunities, my school has also been able to help me make use of extra-curricular activities such as different leadership programs. This has enabled me to develop an understanding and actively engage in numerous initiatives that will help me in using IT to improve livelihoods in my community. Studying in Australia has also presented numerous cultural challenges.
In Kuwait, people do not like talking in class but prefer to remain silent unless asked questions by the teachers. In my country, it is considered impolite to interrupt a teacher (Joseph & Najmabadi, 2006). In Australia, the situation is relatively different considering that students have the ability to engage the teacher in critical discussions as a way of enhancing learning and understanding. Most foreign students were shocked at the method of learning in Australia however, he teachers and other students were dedicated to helping us in overcoming the difficulties that we were experiencing especially on matters related to engagement in in-depth discussions during class hours.
It was a way of improving my interpersonal and communication skills. Religion is considered as a socio-cultural factor in Australia considering that the county is populated with a multiplicity of individuals who are engaged in different religious practices. In Australia, there is freedom of worship and this allows liberalism in anything an individual chooses to worship. The situation is however different from my country which is largely Islamic.
Most activities and practices in my country are conducted in accordance with the Islamic religion (Joseph & Najmabadi, 2006). In the beginning, it was difficult to blend in a pluralistic society where most of the procedures are conducted in a secular manner considering the freedom of religion. However, I was able to overcome this culture shock with time, and nowadays it has become a common phenomenon for me.
Edwards, M. (2012). Public sector governance in Australia. Acton, A.C.T: ANU E Press
Joseph, S., & Najmabadi, A. (2006). Encyclopedia of women & Islamic cultures: Vol. 3. Leiden: Brill.
Ong, D. (2010). International students' handbook: Living and studying in Australia. Sydney: UNSW Press.