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Cross-Cultural Awareness

Cross-Cultural
Awareness
Studying in Australia
involves meeting and interacting with people from all over the world. In order
to gain the most from the experience, students should be encouraged to respect
and learn about how other cultures and nationalities differ from their own.

Cultures may have different attitudes towards:
Individual rights and collective rights (in Australia, generally the rights of the individual person are considered more important than the well-being of the community as a whole)

Power and inequality (most Australians are prepared to challenge the opinions of powerful people, eg teachers)
Uncertainty (Australian people are reasonably comfortable with uncertain situations and do not expect explicit rules of behavior in all circumstances)
Equality for females (Australian people generally believe that females are the equals of males and should receive the same rights and rewards)
Work and Play (Australians put great value on their “lifestyle” and their opportunities to enjoy sport, holidays etc. Other Asian cultures emphasize work as more important)
Formality (Australians are quite informal in their interactions with one another compared to many other cultures)
Non verbal communication (for example, how close people stand to one another in conversation or do they accept touching or handshakes with strangers)

The Teaching and Learning Environment
In a classroom or lecture situation, Australian students are expected to demonstrate initiative and ask questions of the teacher or lecturer. This is not seen as disrespectful as it might in some other cultures but demonstrates to the teacher that the student is fully engaged in the lesson.
Australian educators put much less emphasis on memory recall than Asian countries, and typically students in Australia will be required to undertake group projects and undertake independent research on how to solve problems as part of most courses. These skills may not commonly be required of students in their own cultures and they may be unfamiliar with how to approach such ideas. In particular, negotiating with other students to present a group project can be quite stressful for some international students especially as some of the other students in their group may not be particularly cooperative. In Australian education culture, the ability to learn and work with other people together and overcome inter-personal difficulties is highly regarded.

Language- Accent
Everything will be OK – She’ll be right.
Well Done – How ya goin’?
How are you? – Java good weekend?
Did you have a good weekend? – No worries
Everything is OK – Good onya

Some of these expressions
are frequently used and so students will probably pick them up quite easily and
quickly.