International students is big business, Australia’s fourth biggest export in fact.
But unfortunately it isn’t as easy living and learning in the land down under. The HSBC Bank found that Australia is now the most expensive place for international students with an annual cost of $42,195 (US$38,516).
However, costs aren’t the only issue International students must face when arriving to Australia, as Kell and Vogl’s study confirms, Australia-English isn’t the easiest accent to understand as “they tended mumble and slur words” and “they shortened words… which tended to confuse students who were used to a more formal type of English”. Many international students, prior to studying in Australia study English in their respective countries as “English has assumed an important status as providing access to economic, educational and immigration opportunities”. Yet Kell and Vogl claim that this ‘laziness’ in Australian-English accent is due to a “hybridisation of Gaelic, Welsh, Scots, London Cockney, Northern English dialects, as well, as some Indigenous, Malay and Polynesian words”.
Another issue that most, if not all of my international friends found was that Australians tend to be very late. Whether this attributes to our somewhat lucrative public transport system, or once again just sheer laziness, it appears we can never get there one time.
Within my time at University, I have made several international friends, most of which can relate to the difficulties studying abroad which include adjustment. As Marginson claims. “Much research suggests the pathway to improvement lies in lifting the interactions between international students and local persons, especially students. These interactions create both educational and welfare benefits”. Through my study of Mandarin, I have found that most of my international friends (which range from China to all over Europe) often make numerous attempts to socialise with local students. Many do this through the clubs on campus, to playing sports and even through religion.
Despite some of the hardships many international students face in studying in Australia, and deterring from my own national pride, Australia is often quoted as “The luckiest country in the world”. Well… umm… maybe second best to those damn Swiss!