Study in Australia

Feb 8th, 2008, in News, by

Indonesian students in Australia often have a bad time.

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A study by Monash and Melbourne Universities claims that Asian students studying abroad at Australian universities suffer very high levels of isolation and loneliness.

200 students from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, China, and India were surveyed with 67% of female and 62% of male respondents saying they often felt totally lost in Australia and found it difficult to make friends with local, Australian students.

The Singaporeans were the most lonely, with 100% saying they felt "in a very strange place" and "lost in a jungle", or similar sentiments, followed by Malaysians, Indonesians and Chinese. australian

Cash Cows

The same study also seemed to dispel the myth of Asian students all driving around in expensive cars and living the high life, claiming that:

...many overseas students cannot afford to eat, 60% are paid less than the legal minimum wage, and they are among those most vulnerable to exploitation......because of their lack of English skills and ignorance of workplace rights.

The authors of the study slammed universities for treating foreign students like "cash cows". culturematters

About a third of foreign students were said to have less than half the money they needed to cover basic living costs. abc


89 Comments on “Study in Australia”

  1. avatar Oigal says:

    mmmm..Gotta watch these studies, guess they can say anything you want them too bit like a inane monster vox pop recently trundled around by the resident troll.

    OVERSEAS students have ranked Australia as the third best country in the world for university education, a new survey has revealed.

    A study of 11,000 prospective students from 143 countries found Australia only lagged behind Britain and the US as a preferred study destination.

    Conducted by the International Graduate Insight Group, the researchers also found students thought Australia was safe, had universities with a good reputation and was an easy place to find employment after graduation

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23179664-12332,00.html

    Although to be fair, I love Singapore but I think any Singaporean would feel “lost in a jungle” anywhere in the world after the order and stability of Singapore if it was their first trip abroad.

    Interesting piece of cut and paste..sort of left out a bit of balance at the bottom of the orginal article.

    UA chief executive Glenn Withers rejected the claim that tertiary institutions treated international students like cash cows and don’t care about their welfare.

    He defended the decision not to include international students in their student finances survey, saying that that survey was targeted at the federal government to try to improve income support for domestic students.

    Dr Withers said universities were helping overseas students where they could by providing support services and going into public-private partnerships to construct accommodation for students close to campuses.

    “The biggest problems are the exchange rate – and universities cannot control that – and expensive housing, and universities cannot control that either,”

    the research also found foreign students were more likely to be exploited because of their lack of English skills and ignorance of workplace rights

    How can you be be suffering from a lack of English Skills and yet hope to achieve anything worthwhile in an English Speaking University..Workplace Rights? Attending University but cannot conduct personal primary school level research. Just goes to show the Uni students the world over are dumbing down.

  2. avatar Anita McKay says:

    Patung, funny that today I’ve just asked why Indonesians tend to hang out with other Indonesians, and in some cases, only with Indonesians, when they are living overseas (click here.

    It doesn’t make sense to me. Australia’s big cities are occupied by a large number of Indonesians. So how could Indonesians feel ‘lost’ in Australia when they insist to preserve the culture totally (language, food, habits, friends etc) and “refuse” to adapt to Australian culture? How could Indonesians complain that they feel lonely if they don’t try to get to know other nations?

    Re. cash cow, I actually couldn’t agree more with you. We have to pay at least twice than local students, and that’s not only for tuition fees. Even for bus passes we don’t get student discounts, which I think is really unfair.

    Re.workplace rights, I don’t think it’s about ignorance. Part of it is about lack of knowledge. And half of it because we always subconsciously think that confrontation is bad. I know my friends who were in college and worked 8 hours straight in ice cream shop during summer holiday and the boss dared to tell them not to have toilet break since the shop was too busy. They didn’t protest because they needed the money and the longer they worked, the more money they made. They simply didn’t know that they have the rights to have toilet break and it’s illegal for their boss to treat them like that. On the other hand, the boss said he liked them because they were reliable, came on time, didn’t mess about, not like Australian workers.

  3. avatar WP says:

    Anita:

    why Indonesians tend to hang out with other Indonesians, and in some cases, only with Indonesians, when they are living overseas

    Anita, we are just simple, sweet, and very shy folk 🙂

  4. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Oigal,

    Don’t like it when poor people have an opinion ? How ’bout the opinion of it’s good to be sober at least for a couple of hours a day ?

  5. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    hmmm. Well it makes sense. A lot of people living away from home get lonely and alienated. Some choose to deal with it various positive ways. Others prefer to down their complaints in stale Bir Bintang at Blok M whilst groping 17-year old waitresses.

  6. avatar falcon says:

    The fact is that almost in any country around the world, most Asian foreign students tend to socialize with their own kind, unless the number is limited it can become even a lonelier place. Asian born in the US tend to associate between US Born Asians however the comfort level of communication with none Asian is better. The number of Singaporeans studying abroad probably is limited therefore they feel lonely. Foreign students is a cash cow since majority of them studying aboard are relatively better-off financially. Where else can they make their money, either beg the government for more where the probability is small or ask from corporation endowment however the university needs to have a proven historic educational track record with excellent alumni.

  7. avatar Deng Xiao Phing says:

    Indonesian students must learn how to assimilate, mingle around, mixed in Australia, because their parent’s choice or theirown choice to study in Australia. These students should not complaint of isolation & dreaming to create exclusive Indonesian students speaking bahasa all the time which may agitate the native english speaking Australian. The same for Indonesia pribumi who keep on demanding the minority Indonesian chinese in home country to speak Bahasa clearly without ‘lidah cadel’ nha lo owe udah belajal intunisia masih saja dianggap belum bisa dasal kulang ajal loe olang. Or to change the chinese name into malay local names or mixed arround, marry with pribumi – I think this is normal so do Indonesian students decided to live in Aussie must accept their domestic culture – assimilate naturally. If you do not like Aussie way of life then go back home don’t complain – shut your mouth

  8. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    Friends,

    Re cash cows.

    20 years ago, an overseas student need to pass Year 12 English to get into uni. Now as long as you have money and can fill in the application form, you are in.

  9. avatar ausdag says:

    So how could Indonesians feel ‘lost’ in Australia when they insist to preserve the culture totally (language, food, habits, friends etc) and “refuse” to adapt to Australian culture?

    Part of the ‘stick to their own kind’ thing is the pressure to not be seen to be deserting your own kind. Any sign of opting to hang out with locals rather than fellow Indonesians will often bring accusations of snobbery and ‘kacang lupa kulit’. This is even more felt among certain Australian-funded scholarship students. The group at one particular university in Queensland has a reputation for their mafia-like pressure to stick together.

  10. avatar spew-it-all says:

    It is hard to international students in Australia. You can’t work more than 20 hours/week and have to take full-time study. There are several categories of Indonesian students in Australia. Firstly, those who get scholarship from AUSAID, secondly, permanent residents and thirdly, rich Indonesian people.

    I found that Indonesians/asian in general like to mingle with their own kind. I am not sure if this is because of loneliness factor. I have been living in Australia for more than 5 years and seldom i hang out with Indonesians. Don’t get me wrong, i like to hang out with Indonesians but i also like to make friend with people from different cultures.

    If you go to Swanston Street in Melbourne, which is the heart of the city, you don’t feel like in Australia. It seems that Asian outnumbers Aussies and Brits. Swanston street may make you feel that you actually can experience Singapore in Melbourne. Most Asian tend to live around Uni and close to the city. This Asian conggegrating in the city might be a favourite topic for channel 7: be careful dim sum will wipe out bangers and mash!

  11. avatar Janma says:

    My kids just went to school in Australia in the last two years. My daughter is Australian…. no indonesian in her, but she was bought up here. All her friends there are Indonesian… she just can’t seem to gel with the Aussies so well….. They were lonely when they first went there, but got used to it once they make friends. When I ask her why she only hangs out with Indonesians it’s partly because she is homesick and wants to speak bahasa Indonesia, and partly because most Australians are pretty ignorant about other places in the world and partly because they all go to pubs and drink too much and are invariably trashed the entire weekend.

  12. avatar Oigal says:

    Oigal,

    Don’t like it when poor people have an opinion ? How ’bout the opinion of it’s good to be sober at least for a couple of hours a day ?

    Still bottom feeding I see Assmad..thanks for sharing diddums..

  13. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Oigsie,

    Seriously, “diddums” ??

    As the great Paul. J. Keating said to John Hewson, “debating with you is like getting flayed with a soft piece of lettuce.”

    But let’s strip the drunk comment: don’t like it when poor people have an opinion ? Maybe you know better than them what’s good for them.

  14. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    What do you think of this, Oigsie-Poigsie ?

    Australians are pretty ignorant about other places in the world and partly because they all go to pubs and drink too much and are invariably trashed the entire weekend.

  15. avatar belle says:

    it is hard to make friends especially when you dont speak the language well. the language barrier is at times so significant that it makes the average person more shy than usual and consequently reluctant to make friends. further if you are far away from home, you would feel homesick and it is nicer to be with people who understand you, then you dont have to explain why you feel certain ways – and these people tend to be those who have the same nationality as you do.

    at the end of the day, we just want to be understood – and in this case, the people who are most likely to understand us are the ones who are in the same boat as we are.

  16. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:

    Janma

    because they all go to pubs and drink too much and are invariably trashed the entire weekend.

    An Aussie without a ‘stubbie’ is considered an oxymoron. Or simply a moron.

  17. avatar Oigal says:

    Oh Assmad..little diddums..do find another drum to beat…YAWN!

    Most of us have better things to do than play the silly little racist game, just shows the insecurity and a lack of maturity on behalf of the writers of such tosh.
    Quick now toddle off and find another piece of cut n paste..

  18. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Thanks for sharing, Oigal.

  19. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Poetry:

    There once was a Bule called Oigal,
    Whose postings were very banal,
    His ignorant ways, did but betray,
    His snooty, elitist rationale.

  20. avatar Janma says:

    An Aussie without a ‘stubbie’ is considered an oxymoron. Or simply a moron.

    Many australians like to drink, it’s true, but not all australians are beer swilling morons…. I for one am not! And I know many many other Australians who are not. Just because the class of tourist who comes to bali are the ones who can’t afford a better destination…. so it’s the bottom feeder class. unfortunate.

  21. avatar Oigal says:

    YAWN…as per previous..

  22. avatar TheWrathOfGrapes says:

    Achmad, I prefer Limerick to Poetry…

    There once was a Bule called Oigal,
    Whose postings were quite original,
    Then came along Achmad who knows,
    Knows not, who suka say no,
    And so they try to get at each other.

  23. avatar Janma says:

    If that’s a limerick, Murphy would be turning in his grave!

    Limericks consist of five anapaestic lines.
    Lines 1, 2, and 5 of Limericks have seven to ten syllables and rhyme with one another.
    Lines 3 and 4 of Limericks have five to seven syllables and also rhyme with each other.

  24. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Janma,

    As well you know, most Limericks are comprised whilst drunk (where’s yours, Oigal ??), so in theory yes, the anapaestic, but in reality, c’mon.

    Where did you learn this stuff ?

  25. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Once again, Oigsie-Poigsie, this round to me.

  26. avatar Janma says:

    There was an Old man on our blog,
    Whose arguments got lost in the fog;
    Till at last, with a hammer,
    They silenced his clamour,
    There ended his inane monologue.

  27. avatar Oigal says:

    Oh Well, now that we are completely off topic..oh well, I think its only fair to say that its not all Assmad’s fault, its well out of its depth debating anything other than insults and mindless abuse.. I must admit we have developed a Master/servant relationship over time (although Assmad does make for a particularly inept pembantu).

    In fact, I reminded of a passage from the old testiment..

    ‘I shall not call you a servant any longer, because the servant does not know what
    the master has done. I shall call you a fornicator, and if I may add, quite an ugly one.’
    John, 15:1`17

  28. avatar Janma says:

    I shall not call you a servant any longer, because the servant does not know what
    the master has done. I shall call you a fornicator, and if I may add, quite an ugly one.’
    John, 15:1`17

    Gotta love the bible hey!? Great book! LOL!

  29. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    There once was a woman in Bali
    Whose postings were oh-so gnarly,
    The power went down, and then with a frown,
    She rode off in the night on a harley !

  30. avatar Oigal says:

    There is more residual intelligence in a single shrunken head in a Dayak Long House than can be found in the sum total of all of Assmad’s postings.

    Actually that was a bit mean, Assmad deserves considerable pity”¦

    It’s is a very mediocre creature – and knows it, or suspects it, which is worse.

    Oh well enough fun back to work..

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