Chinese International Students in Australia: An Insight into Their Help and Information Seeking Manners

Cao Ling, Ly Thi Tran

Abstract


Understanding the manners in which international students seek information and help in the country of education is an essential step to improve academic, social, cultural and welfare support for this student cohort. However there is a dearth of the literature that documents the ways international students in the vocational education sector adopt to seek help and information. This paper aims to fill out this gap in the existing scholarly research. Based on in-depth interviews with 30 Chinese international students in Diploma and Associate Degree programs in Australia, this research shows that the ways in which Chinese international students seek help, prior to their departure and after their arrival at the host country, largely depend on the nature of the issues with which they are concerned. Empirical data also reveals that students’ use of education agents’ consultancy and service is not only limited to the pre-departure stage as indicated by the existing literature, but also throughout their journey in the host country. Notably, the role of agents has become increasingly important in Chinese international students’ decision-making process during their transition from Diploma to Associate Degree and higher education programs.


Keywords


Chinese international students, vocational education, diploma, help seeking, information seeking

Full Text:

PDF

References


Australian Education International, (2013). Monthly summary of international students – October 2013. https://aei.gov.au/research/International-Student Data/Documents /Monthly%20summaries%20of%20international%20student%20enrolment%20data%202013/10_October_2013_MonthlySummary.pdf. Retrieved 25 November, 2013.

Ballard, B., & Clanchy, J. (1991). Teaching Students from Overseas: A Brief Guide for Lecturers and Supervisors. Melbourne: Longman Cheshire.

Bodycott, P. (2009). Choosing a higher education study abroad destination—What mainland Chinese parents and students rate as important. Journal of Research in International Education, 8(3), 349–373.

Boldero, J., & Fallon, B. (1995). Adolecent help-seeking: what do they get help for and from whom? Journal of Adolescence, 18, 193-209.

Cao, L. & Tran, L. T. (2014). Pathways from vocational education and associate degree to higher education: Chinese students in Australia. Asia Pacific Journal of Education. DOI: 10.1080/02188791.2014.881318.

Chang, S., Alzougool, B., Berry, M., Gomes, C. & Smith, S. (2012). International students in the digital age: Do you know where your students go to for information? Melbourne: AIEC conference. http://www.aiec.idp.com/pdf/2012_chang_Fri_1235_212_paper.pdf

Chen, C. (2006). Word-of-mouth information gathering: an exploratory study of Asian international students searching for Australian higher education services. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Dempsey, K. (2010). Best Practice in Education Agent Management: A Guide for Education Providers. Melbourne: Victoria TAFE International. http://www.vti.edu.au/images/stories/pdfs/VTI-Best-Practice-in-Education-Agent-Management.pdf. Retrieved 10 December, 2012.

Fallon, F. (2006). Young, worried and in a foreign culture: Factors involved in the help-seeking behaviour of international students in Australia. Paper presented at the ISANA Conference, Sydney.

Hambrecht, F. (2006). Help seeking behaviour of international students: Does culture have an impact? Paper presented at the Australian International Education Conference.

Kashima, E. M. & Loh, E. (2006). International students' acculturation: Effects of international, conational and local ties and need for closure. International Journal of Cultural Relations, 30(4), 417-485.

Kenway, J., & Bullen, E. (2003). Self-representations of International Women Postgraduate Students in the Global University 'Contact Zone'. Gender & Education, 15(1), 5.

Mazzarol, T. & Soutar, G. N. (2002). “Push-pull” factors influencing international student destination choice. International Journal of Educational Management, 16(2), 82-90.

Merriam, S. B. (1998). Qualitative Research and Case Study Applications in Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Mori, S. (2000). Addressing the mental health concerns of international students. Journal of Counseling & Development, 78(2), 137-144.

Poyrazli, S., & Grahame, K. M. (2007). Barriers to adjustment: needs of international students within a semi-urban campus community. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 34(1), 28-45.

Prescott, P., & Hellstén, M. (2005). Hanging together even with non-native speakers: The international student transition experience. In P. Ninnes & M. Hellsten (Eds.), Internationalizing Higher Education: Critical Explorations of Pedagogy and Policy (pp. 75-95). Hong Kong: Comparative Education Research Centre, HKU.

Prugsamatz, S., Pentecost, R. & Ofstad, L. (2006). The influence of explicit and implicit service promises on Chinese students’ expectations of overseas universities, Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 18(2), 129 - 145.

Rai, G. S. (2002). Meeting the educational needs of international students: A perspective from US schools. International Social Work, 45(1), 21-34.

Rosenthal, D. A., Russell, V. J., & Thomson, G. D. (2006). A growing experience: The health and well-being of international students at the University of Melbourne. Melbourne: The University of Melbourne.

Samuelowicz, K. (1987). Learning problems of overseas students: Two sides of a story. Higher Education Research and Development, 16(2), 121-132.

Sakurai, T., McCall-Wolf, F. & Kasima, E. S. (2010). Building intercultural links: The impact of a multicultual intevention program on social ties of international students in Australia. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 34(2), 176-185.

Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1998). Basics of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Tran, T. L. (2008). Unpacking disciplinary requirements: International students in the Management and Education disciplines in Australian higher education. Higher Education Research and Development, 27(1), 245-256.

Tran, L. T. & Nyland, C. (2011). International vocational education and training - The migration and learning mix. Australian Journal of Adult Learning. 51 (1), 8-31.

Tran, L. T. (2013). Teaching international students in vocational education and training: New pedagogical approaches. Camberwell: Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER) Press.

Tran, L. T. (2013a). Internationalisation of Vocational Education and Training: A Learning Curve for Teachers and Learners. Journal of Studies in International Education, 17(4), 492-507

Tran, L.T. & Nguyen, N.T. (2013). Mediating teacher professional identity: The emergence of humanness and ethical identity. International Journal of Training Research. 11(3), 119-212.

White, G. M. (1982). The role of cultural explanations in `somatization' and `psychologization'. Social Science & Medicine, 16(16), 1519-1530.

Wilton, L., & Constantine, M. G. (2003). Length of residence, cultural adjustment difficulties, and psychological distress symptoms in Asian and Latin American international college students. Journal of College Counseling, 6(2), 177-186.

Yang, M. (2007). What attracts mainland Chinese students to Australian higher education? Studies in Learning, Evaluation Innovation and Development. 4(2), 1-12.

Zhang, N., & Dixon, D. N. (2003). Acculturation and attitudes of Asian international students toward seeking psychological help. Multicultural Counseling and Development, 31(3), 205-222.

Zhang, Yi (Leaf) & Hagedorn, L.S. (2011). College Application With or Without Assistance of an Education gent: Experience of International Chinese Unergraduates in the US. Journal of College Admission , Sum(212),6-16.