Any culture contains particular visible and hidden features. Visible cultural elements are traditions, etiquette, social practices, etc. In fact, they take only $10 of people’s cultural identities, while the rest is represented by hidden cultural differences.
Cultural differences is a broad term that involves the system of socially acquired values, rules, and beliefs that impact the behaviors of people in a certain social group. For example, western orientation towards achievement and emphasis on success can be viewed as a culture difference when compared to the Eastern countries.
Generally, cultural differences contribute to one’s relationship with their environment. As social competencies, they may include differences in assertiveness and self-disclosure levels as well as in shared interpersonal style.
If you are considering studying abroad, you must be aware of the cultural differences between your home country and desired destination. This article will highlight the main distinctions of student experience in Australia, so you can prepare yourself before moving there. So keep reading!
Styles of studies
Australian education is famous for its top quality all around the world. In fact, the learning standards are very high and the overall system is quite demanding. A mix of both practical and theoretical lessons ensures gaining deep knowledge and acquiring a large set of skills. However, the workload can be different from what you’re used to in your home country. This can result in increased stress levels and even mental health issues. So if you are not a hard-working person, you will less likely adapt to studying in Australia in a short time.
However, the good news is that instructors in most Australian schools tend to give more attention to international students. They offer a huge variety of tools and materials that can make the period of your adaptation less stressful.
One of the major cultural changes experienced by international students is language. Oftentimes, young people struggle with language fluency while attending lectures and workshops. When it’s not clear what the instructor is talking about, the learning process may become a real pain. If it’s not easy for you to overcome the language barrier, you can turn for help with your studies. While being a student, I frequently asked professional writers to do my assignment in Australia, which helped me to get good grades. In general, I used all the available opportunities to practice speaking until I gained enough confidence. Most importantly, I wasn’t afraid of making mistakes while talking to strangers since this is the only way to develop fluency.
If you are a fan of shopping, you must know that shopping hours in this country may be more limited than at home. Even in city areas, shops usually open at 9 am and close at 5 pm. This can be a big disadvantage if you study full-time. However, sometimes late-night shopping is available because shops may stay open until 9 pm. In terms of other entertainments, Australian people love sports. Most of them are keen on rugby, cricket and tennis, so watching matches is one of the most popular types of leisure activity.
Australian society is very multicultural. This country accepts and celebrates cultural diversity so you can find traditions and food from different parts of the world there. Chinese, French, Japanese, Italian, Indian, Thai, Mexican and many other cultures are represented in Australia. In fact, nearly 25% of its population was born overseas. Hence, Australia offers you the opportunity to experience something brand new and step outside of your comfort zone. No matter where you are from, you will always have the feeling of belonging in the multicultural setting of this country.
Australia is an individualistic country. This means that people tend to define themselves rather in terms of ‘I’ than ‘we’. Autonomy and independent thinking are highly valued in Australian society. In contrast to collectivistic nations, personal needs and attitudes are crucial determinants of behavior for Australians. Ties between friends are loose and most individuals are likely to engage in activities alone. The fact that social interactions are quite short and not so intimate may be shocking for you if you come from collectivistic society.
A lot of young people decide to study overseas to try another lifestyle. While this may be quite beneficial in terms of self-development, such an experience also requires some time and effort to adjust. Chances are, you will notice many more differences between Australia and your home country than mentioned above. But at least, you are aware of the most common cultural features now.
Michael Turner is a study coach working with Australian students from top universities. His main goal is to help young people overcome all the study challenges they face while pursuing a degree. In his free time, Michael writes a blog about cultural differences in various countries.