Study Abroad Student: World Leader in International Student Pacement Services

 

Study Abroad Student was a website that provided basic information about studying abroad (in Australia and other parts of the world). For over 40 years they had been successfully placing individual student. That is what made Study Abroad Student the world leader in international student placement services.
This was their website.
Content is from the site's 2011 archived pages.

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Living Abroad

 

A second problem you must expect to meet is the difficulty of living in another culture, far away from home, family and friends. Asian students who have studied abroad talk of their loneliness there and refer to it as part of `the price' of an overseas qualification. This cost, of course, has to be balanced against the positive aspects of the experience. But it is a cost which has to be borne. To some extent, again, you can prepare yourself in advance by finding out as much as you can about the country, the city, and the university or college to which you are going. You may be able to attend an orientation course before you leave home. You can seek out people who have returned from study abroad and learn from

Their experiences. There are practical things you can learn to do. If you know, for example, that you are going to have to cook for your­self or that there are certain dishes which you really enjoy, then get someone at home to teach you how to cook. Many of your fellow students overseas will be only too willing to exchange language les­sons for a meal of chicken biryani or a dish of nasi goreng.

 
Living aboard

On arrival at your college you will probably find there are already students there from your own country who will be ready to help you settle in. A Malaysian Law student made the point:

I suggest that a good way of building up confidence is by talking to other Asians (oldies). They are the people who can give really good tips as they too had to undergo the same problems at the beginning.

Also many colleges have special organizations for overseas student to help them meet other students and make new friends. Here are the comments of two more Asian undergraduates:

Adaptation to life here was the first acute problem that I encountered

when I just landed here in ANU in March 1980. Everything was just not right; food, friends, weather, you name it - everything was a problem then. To add to my misery any homesickness, the weather was of no help, especially during the winter when I really get miser­able. Then luckily things made a good turn for me as I started to find my way around and started to win precious friendship.

 

 

University Titles

 

Undergraduate Degree Courses

In explaining the structure of undergraduate degrees in this chapter, we are using the Australian University for our model. What we describe will apply in general terms to degree courses in the other institutions and in other countries. There are, however, also some important differences. For more detailed information about Australian Institutions, see the references listed at the end of this chapter. For variations that apply in Britain , Canada and the United States , consult Appendices 1-3

Many Australian Students when they first enter university or college feel as strange as if they were moving into a foreign country, an alien culture. They will already have completed twelve years of primary and secondary education. They will have been above average pupils, successful enough to have gained admission to a tertiary institution on the basis of their state exams or school performance. Yet despite their past success they are often nervous. They are entering a very different world from their school surroundings.
 
The Australian academic year runs from March to November and is divided into either two semesters or three terms. The new students' first experience of the university is likely to be Orientation Week, an introductory week there is usually a preliminary talk or lecture in each first-year course, but it is mainly a time for student activities.

There are many social events – films, parties, plays, dances; clubs and societies try to enroll new members; there are special tours of the libraries and talks on service available to students, such as medical services, student loans, and sport facilities. This is the week in which new students begin to get their bearings and become oriented to the university setting.

We shall describe I this chapter some features of the structure and working of an Australian university which you will find helpful to know from the outset. (If you are intending at a college of advanced education or a technical institute there will be some

 

Assessment System


In some courses the students' performance is assessed whollv final formal exam; in others assessment is continuous, with piece of written work and each short test counting towards the final grade; in many courses there is a mixture of continuous assessment and some form of final exam.
 
The structure of the degree course varies from one universit:. another and from one Faculty to another, but here is a fairlv com mon pattern for a three-year pass degree in a Faculty of Economics a (see diagram on page 25); There are three matters to notice a bout this course structure. Firstly, courses (also sometimes called u:­may extend for either a full-year (consisting of three terms) half-year (semester). Secondly, in a three-year pass degree students are normally required to complete two majors (a major : sequence of three units in one discipline - our student has pleted majors in Economics and Accounting) and one sub-major sub-major is a sequence of two units in one discipline - our students has a sub-major in Political Studies). Thirdly, additional Unit make up the number required for the degree - in this case 10 - will

 

Undergraduate Degree Structure


New students must also learn how the degree course is structv-. Students normally repter in one Faculty , finally gainin_ y Bachelor of Science (BSc), or a Bachelor of Economics (BEc). - x Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degree. In some universitiea . also possible to do a combined degree, such as an Economic scence degree (BEcSc). Most pass degree courses require three year­full-time study, though some, such as Medicine or Law, take Ion,' If a student wants to gain an Honours degree, this require additional year of study after the pass degree has been completed a high standard.
 
The structure of the degree course varies from one universit:. another and from one Faculty to another, but here is a fairlv com mon pattern for a three-year pass degree in a Faculty of Economics a (see diagram on page 25); There are three matters to notice a bout this course structure. Firstly, courses (also sometimes called u:­may extend for either a full-year (consisting of three terms) half-year (semester). Secondly, in a three-year pass degree students are normally required to complete two majors (a major : sequence of three units in one discipline - our student has pleted majors in Economics and Accounting) and one sub-major sub-major is a sequence of two units in one discipline - our students has a sub-major in Political Studies). Thirdly, additional Unit make up the number required for the degree - in this case 10 - will

General Expectations

 

What Supervisors Expect of Post Graduates

As a postgraduate student you will be assigned tied to a supervisor, usually a member of the department in which you are registered. Depending on the university you attend and your area of research, you may find that a supervisory committee, rather than a single academic, is appointed but in such cases you will still have one member of the group assigned as your main supervisor.

The relationship between the research student and the supervisor is, obviously, extremely important. It can become the source of many problems if there are misunderstandings or unclear expec­tations on either side. While it is usually possible for you to change supervisors if a breakdown in the relationship occurs, such a step is unusual and may cause difficulty both for yourself and the depart­ment - and may also delay the progress of your research.
 
It is, therefore, important that you understand clearly what supervisors expect of their research students, and what you can expect from your supervisor. This should help you to avoid some of the more obvious pitfalls.

We begin this chapter with an account of the general expectations o f supervisors and then discuss some of the particular problems that can arise for overseas students in meeting these expectations.Most supervisors hold certain general expectations about the capaci­ties and previous training of their research students. They assume that these students are:
  1. Very competent in their academic work,
  2. Capable of handling theory and concepts at an advanced level,
  3. Willing to acquire new research skills and techniques, and
  4. Motivated to work independently.
Let us now look in more detail at what is expected of you as a post­graduate student.

 

Strategies

Time Management

Strategies for Undergraduate Studies

All students are different. They hoe different capabilities, different motivations and different ways of studying. So no single system study will suit everyone. Nor is there - as you will already yourself - any one strategy or magic formula which will automati cally ensure success.

Nevertheless, from our work with students, we have found there some strategies for study which, used flexibly, do see­ helpful than no strategies at all. They cover the problems already mentioned in earlier chapters: (1) time management (2) lectures and note-taking, (3) tutorials and lab session, (4) reading and library research (5) written assignments,(6) revision and exams.

We shall now look at each of these :­drawing on the experience of both overseas and Australian students. Our purpose is to suggest ways in which you may avoid unnecessary strain in adjusting to study abroad.

 

 

 

Some students find they work more efficiently if they can set themselves a detailed daily and weekly study timetable for , a whole term or semester. They allot regular periods for all rest activities as well as plotting hourly study sessions. This approach to : time management follows the pattern familiar from secondary : It seems to be a common strategy among Science and Technology students whose study is dominated by lectures and lab sessions, therefore, predictable.

Yet this predictability can also cause is, problems. If, for example, some unexpected event occurs sickness or the need to repeat an unsatisfactory experiment - the whole scheme appears to be in ruins, and much time can be wasted in drawing up a revised but equally rigid schedule.

 

 

 

Adapting to New Study Patterns

The third area of difficulty, the problems in adjusting to a new style of teaching and learning, is less likely to be discussed before your departure from your own country. You yourself may not expect any serious difficulties in this area. After all you have already proved, in the long years of your schooling, that you are an outstanding students. Otherwise you would not have qualified to study for a degree abroad. Probably you have always been successful in your studies, and you have developed a pattern of studying which has worked very well in the past. Yet listen to these students describing their experience of studying abroad :

Problems that I am facing now are : Note taking in lectures. I find it hard to both listen, absorb and write the same time. Very often, I find I don't quite get what the lecturer is trying to convey at the instant he finishes his sentence and the next moment, he's going on to something else. I do feel sometimes more a recording machine (trying to write down most of the things lecturer said) than trying to get the essence of the lecture.

  1. Reading . I guess preparing lectures would help in understanding the lectures. however, to understand what the book is trying to say is also a problem. I have to spend a long time to read a page and some­times I have to read it more than once to understand what the paragraphs mean.

 

  1. Laboratory work. I did not find it such a problem because it was I know at home. But it was hard sometimes to understand what is meant in the lab manuals. And the lab staff seem to speak too fast for me. They think I know more than I really do about where to find things and how to set things up.
  1. Writing essays. It is a new experience for me to look up relevant materials from the large variety of books in the library. I very often don't know where to start from. Research work is very time consum­1 he understanding of the question/essay too is a bit of a problem. Luckily, this can be remedied by asking tutors concerned.

 

 

 

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