Transitioning to Study at SCU for International Students

August 26, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


Some of the challenges that I faced when coming
to Australia for my studies was finding a suitable accommodation and also getting used
to the online academic environment at the university here.
Because it’s the first week of the university when the orientation starts, it’s pretty
hectic. You get a lot of information thrown at you. You’d be sitting in classrooms hearing
from different services at the university. So, at that point of time when you have to
find accommodation it can get a little bit tricky. And finding the right one can be even
more tricky. Because I come from China, and the east culture
is very different from the west culture in Australia.
As a student international student I had a cultural shock, especially English language,
from the second English speaking country. I’m from Canada and the education system
is fairly similar but the expectations were a little bit different for me here. So adjusting
to that I sort of fell behind and I was probably about a month behind in studies.
Um, and that really affected my stress level and I fell into sort of a downward spiral
of not seeking help, and that actually was very detrimental to my stress and I could
have made it a lot easier if I had asked questions and sought out the people who could help me
in adjusting. I had a lot of appointment with the accommodation
officer during the O-week (orientation week), and she personally helped me look up on UniStays
(university accommodation website) and found accommodation options that are suitable to
my liking and to my interests that I had logged down.
She actually drove me to a couple of places to have a look, let me have a look at these
places, and she actually contacted a few landlords on my behalf and she talked to them. And then
she um, assisted me in getting to have a look at the house, and then, helping me make the
right choice. I can understand it’s a different culture
between china and Australia, and in Australia it’s no barriers between teacher and the
students. So, we can ask question, don’t think about this question is too silly or
something like that, just ask question if you don’t understand the issues.
Academic Skills Development is the resource that I found helpful in term of improving
the learning skills that I lacked, especially referencing skills and writing skills relevant
to my course. So, it’s been really wonderful experience. And having access to that help;
and librarians were there, my student colleagues’ were there, UniMentors were there, lecturer
was always there, always approachable at any time and all been there for me so I felt really
been part of his community, great experience. For me personally dealing with the stress,
I started seeing a counsellor, and utilising the counselling services at the Uni, and that
was really beneficial for me because it made me, sort of got me to, take an outsides perspective
on what was stressing me out about academics, what was stressing me out about my personal
life and it sort of got me back on track. The counselling service also provided me with
the opportunity to realise that we can have special consideration if you have certain
circumstances that affect your studies and are prohibiting from actually studying on
track. Well I would like to say make the most of
this opportunity because not a lot of people have this opportunity to study internationally.
And, especially here at Southern Cross University, there is a lot of student support, be it academic,
be it with your Uni life. I had a few bumps in the beginning getting used to the academic
system here and getting used to the academic expectations at the university in terms of
assignments and exams that didn’t quite exact back home.
I would recommend new international students give themselves more time to learn about the
local culture and to learn about the different education system. And, also eat healthy and
have some sport to keep body healthy. And, set out the academic goals and when you achieve
your academic goals you can get more confident. University has got a variety, range of services
available, student hub is here as a contact point. Academic skills there, library there,
fellow students are here, Coastrs (student association). It’s full of resources available
to help your experience in Australia, especially Southern Cross University. A very wonderful
experience and memory. Firstly, welcome. Welcome here, you made it.
I think just take advantage of the international officer, they’re second to none in there
services, they’re here to help you and they’re the first point of contact you have when you
first arrive here. Find a balance, don’t just focus on academic, don’t just party,
like an animal, but find the balance between the two and enjoy your time, you only live
once.