Today, Afifah Nashuka, wants to share her experience as an international student in University of Tasmania
Struggle with academic and social life
Most people still think that studying overseas is a prestigious and delightful experience that not everyone can afford it. However, being an international student is not as easy as most people said. For me, it is a challenging experience that might change our life rather than just a short amazing journey. It’s a worth living experience that sometimes pushes people into their limits, but of course in a positive way. It is not only about academic life, but also social life.
The main duties as students are studying and doing assignments. It will be more challenging for international students coming from countries whose English is a second language, because they need to put more effort in understanding lectures and other additional materials in English.
Another challenge is dealing with different teaching and learning systems. When we are studying in another country that has same education system with Indonesia, then it is not a big problem. It sometimes could be challenging and pretty struggling, if we are learning in different education system. However, everything is going smoothly we feel confident and trust ourselves.
For many years, I have been exposed to Eastern educational system, in which teachers or lectures are the only source of information during the lectures and academic related activities. Most students accept all the information delivered by teachers without questioning or interrupting during the class. I was surprised in the first time I experienced Western education system. Most students, without any hesitation, just asked questions or even argued what lectures explained, instead of thinking that it was impolite. I was thinking that they are really smart students. They could easily spill out their ideas, criticize something and be skeptical about new information.
Apart from those above, homesicknesses, different cultures, weather shock, or difficulties in getting yummy food have also become issues. For me, the combination of homesickness and assignments’ due dates is the worst thing ever. Actually, it is easy to deal with those complicated moments. Contacting family members at home, meeting with friends or maybe having favorite foods may likely make better feelings.
It is fun and worthy experience
One thing that I believe for sure is that we can achieve what we wish, if we really put efforts on something. The more we put our effort, the better results that we get. Until now, I am still struggling with so many things, which is happening almost everyday. At the end, I know that this is part of my learning process as a student or as a person. Of course, there will be a hard time for us. But, there is a lot of friends that will stand in the same shoes with us as international students.
More than that, look closer around us. We are not alone! Most Australian universities have help desk points that will guide and assist students about academic stuff, including language support. In the University of Tasmania, students can simply contact or directly drop in to the student center to seek advice about social and academic life as international students. So, not only our friends that we can look into, but also university will always support us.
To me, “study hard and play harder” is still the most appropriate motto as a student. Don’t spend our time only for studying. Travel and explore! Well, study is important, but do not forget to enjoy our life in a new culture. Meeting new friends, experiencing different weather, and maybe tasting food from different countries are things that we shouldn’t miss out while living overseas. Balance our life and enjoy every moment of it!