Why Is This Important?
YOUR REPUTATIONAL RISK AND DUTY OF CARE.
We recognise your need to reduce reputational risk and to provide additional duty of care for your Chinese students.
Yes, you are fully aware of the escalating frustration around the uncertainty of when Chinese students can return and what they will return to. Australia’s “new normal” is still somewhat of an unknown.
But what you may not have considered is the detrimental impact to Chinese students who are unable to attend face-to-face O-Week activities and/or are forced to undertake remote learning.
By missing out on face-to-face interactions with local students and staff at the commencement of Semester 1, the ability of Chinese students to understand the “unwritten rules” about studying in Australia is drastically reduced. This could be detrimental to their student experience in terms of social integration, personal safety and adjustment to a culturally different academic system.
We strongly believe that your reputational risk and duty of care should extend to providing your Chinese students with the opportunity to learn from qualified intercultural specialists these “unwritten rules” of Australian culture.
WE’RE CONCERNED YOUR CHINESE STUDENTS’ INTENTIONS ARE BEING MISUNDERSTOOD.
There’s so much they’ve had to sacrifice to make it to the start of your new academic year. So after all their effort to begin Semester 1, we’d hate to see them struggle just because their intentions are being misunderstood.
We know the intent of Chinese students is to quickly fit in and to do well in their studies. But what they might not realise are the many unsaid expectations about how this should be done – in the Australian context. Without this background cultural knowledge, their ability to settle into student life, integrate socially and adjust to a new academic system could be severely compromised – without them even realising what’s going on. In other words, they risk being misunderstood.
Our concern is that in all the rush, no-one takes the time to explain to Chinese students the really important “unwritten rules” about Australian culture that underpin all the other information, advice and support you’re providing. This could be detrimental to their student experience in your institution.
WHAT DO WE MEAN BY “UNWRITTEN RULES?”
These are the culturally-determined expectations about how international students should behave in certain situations.
“Unwritten rules” can be expectations of Australian lecturers and study mates towards:
- how students prioritise between getting tasks done and managing relationships
- how students choose to communicate in certain situations – from classroom discussions to conversations with friends
- how students prioritise their time and manage deadlines.
If Chinese students don’t meet these Australian expectations, they risk falling behind in their studies, they risk being misunderstood and they could be missing out on opportunities to form valuable relationships.
But how could they possibly know how to behave if nobody takes the time to explain what Australia’s “unwritten” expectations are and what students can do about it?
Well, that’s the problem we solve for Chinese students with Digital O-Week – designed and facilitated by qualified intercultural specialists.