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Academic Issues for Studying in Australia


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If you are dreaming of studying abroad, what are main issues you need to know? New customs? New foods? New Currency? Problems with communication? Many Indonesian students find studying in Australia very challenging. Some find it difficult to adjust to the Australian academic life and they feel lonely, depressed, and homesick. Others, however, choose to face the ‘academic shock’ by embracing the new way of education and learning from experiences.
When you study in an Australian university, you can not expect educational stuffs to be exactly the same with those in your university. Australia is different from Indonesia. You will deal with unexpected problems like different academic atmosphere, different attitudes of lecturers and administration staffs, different teaching-learning process and even different ways of making friends.
This paper will look mainly at the way in which you will need to change your perspectives in order study successfully in a university in Australia. It will focus on discussing some issues that any Indonesian student should be aware of while studying in Australia.

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Academic Issues for Studying in Australia

  2. 2. 11/21/2015 Guest Lecture EDSA FKIP Unisma 2 1 THE FIRST MEETING IN CLASS • The first meeting in class is very important in Australia. • Missing the first meeting is a great loss • The lecturer will discuss – the outline of the unit/subject, – explain things are expected from the students in order to pass the unit/subject – explain kinds of assignments required • Kinds of assignments: critical review and annotated bibliography
  3. 3. 11/21/2015 Guest Lecture EDSA FKIP Unisma 3 2 ADDRESSING LECTURERS • Australians are proud of being ‘egalitarian’ in their behavior • address their lecturers, academic staffs, administration staffs and librarians by their first names only and might not show as much respect as would be common in Indonesia • Some lecturers unwilling to be addressed as ‘Mrs., Mr., Sir, or Teacher’
  4. 4. 11/21/2015 Guest Lecture EDSA FKIP Unisma 4 3 COMING LATE • Highly unlikely for lecturers and students in Australia to come late in class • He or she will directly give opening remarks or comments to get students’ attention • If you come late: – Open and close the door slowly, – find the nearest seat and be quiet, – do not smile because it may offend your lecturer and friends.
  5. 5. 11/21/2015 Guest Lecture EDSA FKIP Unisma 5 4 NOTE TAKING • It is used to record and remember important points in tutorials and lectures. • For some international students, note taking is hard to do (ability to listen, record and write quickly) • To solve this problem: – use abbreviations, jargons, arrows, and symbols to shorten their writing – summarizing and paraphrasing – , use tape recorder
  6. 6. 11/21/2015 Guest Lecture EDSA FKIP Unisma 6 5 GROUP DISCUSSIONS • Teaching learning process in Australian universities is student-centered • Students are expected to be active in giving opinions and sharing ideas with others. • A lecturer usually divides students into groups in four or five. Each group member is responsible for explaining certain topic/s • If you do not study before the class, you will not only be passive in class but also will be neglected by your friends
  7. 7. 11/21/2015 Guest Lecture EDSA FKIP Unisma 7 6 ASSESSMENT SYSTEM • One unit may require students to write minor and major assignments as well as to do test/s in class • The minor assignment: – usually 1500-2000 words in length – can be in the form of writing a short essay, critical review, research report, annotated bibliography, observation, and presentation. – percentage varies from 5% to 40%.
  8. 8. 11/21/2015 Guest Lecture EDSA FKIP Unisma 8 • the major assignment – covers 3500-5000 words – in the form writing a long essay. – The percentage is various from 50% to 70% • Both kinds of assignment must be done or submitted based on the due date informed
  9. 9. 11/21/2015 Guest Lecture EDSA FKIP Unisma 9 Percentage Mark Note 80-100% HD High Distinction 70-79% D Distinction 60-69% C Credit 50% and over P Pass Below 50% F Fail
  10. 10. 11/21/2015 Guest Lecture EDSA FKIP Unisma 10 7 PLAGIARISM • Plagiarism is the intentional use of words or ideas of someone else without acknowledging them properly • In the form of: – using experts’ ideas without mentioning the source appropriately, – cheating, – collusion, – re-submission of previously marked works, – theft of other students’ works.
  11. 11. 11/21/2015 Guest Lecture EDSA FKIP Unisma 11 • It is a serious offence in Australian universities • If found guilty of plagiarism: – students can be asked to leave the university – their degrees may be withdrawn • Do not forget to always acknowledge someone else’s ideas if you quote them.
  12. 12. 11/21/2015 Guest Lecture EDSA FKIP Unisma 12 8 INDEPENDENT LEARNING • Australians expect you to be independent • You should not reluctant to ask your lecturers or other academic staffs for explanation or clarification if you find things unclear. • students have to be able to solve their assignment problems independently because all materials and resources related to students’ tasks are relatively easy to access.
  13. 13. 11/21/2015 Guest Lecture EDSA FKIP Unisma 13 9 SOCIAL RELATIONS • Social relations with other students and friends are very important • Getting along with other Indonesian students is relatively no problem if you join organization/s formed by Indonesians • Getting along with other international students and local students are also needed to widen our social relations, our perspectives about different languages and cultures, exchange simple language expressions and slangs
  14. 14. 11/21/2015 Guest Lecture EDSA FKIP Unisma 14 AUSTRALIAN SLANGS • Arvo: Afternoon • Barbie: BBQ • Bludge: Lazy • Breakie: Breakfast • BYO: Bring Your Own • Cuppa: Tea or coffee • Fair dinkum: Australian/genuine • Fair go: my turn • Lingo: language • Onya: good on you • Reckon: think • Ta: thank you • Telly: television • No wurries: no problem