Do differences in learning styles cause major problems for international students studying in Australia?

Essay by 98mj2High School, 10th gradeA-, August 2003

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Differences in learning styles do cause major problems for international students studying in Australia. For the purpose of this essay, `learning styles' is defined to be the approaches taken by the international students in studying, and `international students' should be read in the context of tertiary students from countries outside Australia. This essay shall concentrate on the main factors, which it may be argued bring about difficulties in learning for international students. which include cultural differences, the expected independence of students as well as the differences in patterns of academic writing.

Firstly, cultural differences are a major obstacle for international students. Different cultures hold different values with repect to issues such as freedom of religion and respect of elders. For example, a student from an Islamic country, such as Malaysia, maybe unwilling to discuss ideas and opinions in a debate or an essay,as these are considered to be actions against the Muslim religion.

Similarly, a student of Chinese origin may be taught from young to be respectful of elders. As such actions like questioning on idea raised by a lecturer or tutor maybe deemed as utterly disrespectful. However, in the Australian education system, tertiary students are encouraged and expected to be responsive and open-minded on various issues, which include freedom of religion. FUrthermore, local students are often regarded to be keen learners when questionsor objections are raised in response to an idea brought up by a facilitator. Thus, different values caused by cultural differences are often major problems for international students in Australia.

In addition, students from abroad may hold different approaches from the local students in the handling of information in their studies. Students in many countries, such as China and Taiwan, are usually and traditionslly fed' with knowledge. These students expected to memorize learning...