Study in Australia: Speak up in class!
Apr 14, 2009 Study Abroad 2799 Views
Schools in Australia encourage students to think critically and be active in class. Often students are asked to speak up in discussions and bring forward their opinion. Most courses will have many interactive class discussions and group work. Don't sit back, get involved!
You may have to get used to some Australian slang words and phrases like: `Good on you` (well done), G'day (hello), stubby (bottle of beer) or `fair dinkum` (genuine, real). Australians also love to abbreviate and alter word endings, resulting in 'barbie' for barbecue, 'Breaky for Breakfast, footy for Aussie rules football or `cuppa` for a cup of tea. After a short while you will notice that you are using these words as well, becoming a true Aussie!
Australian history and culture
Coming from another country, you may find yourself lost when people talk about Aussie culture or general Australian knowledge in class. Again: the best way to cope with this is ask when you don't know `who` or `what` people talk about. It can help to get familiar with Australia's current affairs reading the newspapers, watching local TV news or read the Kangaruni news section every day at www.kangaruni.com . You will get news that is specially written for international students, so a great way to start learning about Australia. Experiences from other students (link) will give you an idea of what to expect. Another great way to find out more about Australian history and culture is by reading the handbook `becoming an Ausralian citizen` which can be downloaded here.
Writing and presenting
Your basic skills such as listening, reading, writing and creative thinking will be put to use in your studies. Besides writing essays or other written projects, you'll probably bump into assignments that require you to do a presentation in class. You may feel less confident in presenting when English is not your first language. But not to worry, it takes a lot of practice to speak in front of people and the English-speaking students may feel nervous too. More important: you can learn how to better write and present. Knowing some practical tools about the build up of an essay or the ingredients of a presentation will will give you more confidence and will make you look like you master the subject. It is the easiest way to improving your marks as writing and presenting skills are the basic tools for most assignments. So it is worth considering doing courses in writing and presenting.
Tips about the Australian way of study
In terms of studying, Australians are generally individual, active and confident. Here are some tips to better cope with `the Australian way of study`:
1. Most Australians are rather individual when it comes to studying and some international students may take a bit of time to adapt to that. Often you will need to work your way around studying and tackling assignments by yourselves. This does not mean that people are not willing to help. Your fellow students are generally really friendly however in most cases you will have to ask them for help.
2. In group assignments, others expect you to present equal quality work and it is essential that you carry your own weight when doing group assignments. You will most likely have to do a presentation before class, which may be frightening. On the other hand, people really show their appreciation if you present something outstanding and most teachers will admire you for studying in a language that is not your own.
3. In class discussions, Australians are confident expressing their opinion to the group.
4. Class starts on time so be careful not to come in late so you don't disturb others.
5. It's common to comment on other people's opinion. Don't feel offended when your opinion is not shared and maybe even openly questioned. Its nothing personal, students just like to learn by debating issues, it is part of the whole learning experience.
6. Most teachers will show understanding for international students who may find it difficult to follow a lecture because you're not used to the Australian accent or because people talk to fast. So if you feel like you're having difficulty in class, just let the teacher know and they'll often try to help you in any way they can.
For more info check out: www.kangaruni.com