Developing Your Cultural Awareness
Many international students have spent a good couple of years in Australia studying, making friends and enjoying their student life abroad.
However there are many students who struggle to build relationships outside their nationality.
There are a couple of reasons why this happens and some tips so you can follow to improve cultural awareness.
1. Make friends outside your nationality circle
It very normal to lean towards people who have come from the same or similar background to you. After all, you would communicate easier by speaking your native tongue, share things in common and be overall more comfortable.
However by doing only this, you are closing yourself from developing your local cultural skills. This cultural awareness skills will be very important for your professional career. It’s important that you try and make friends from different cultures and adapt to how people use different manners and English slang. Doing so will help you settle in easier amongst colleagues.
2. Ask and learn
The best way to understand something in my opinion is being proactive and asking people. I know it sounds simple but it is really effective. Ask local friends why they say or do certain things so you understand their culture better. I find that people are much more open with they believe you genuinely are interested in learning about their experience and views.
Any additional homework you can do will surely help you. There are many videos you can research, articles you can read, even movies you can watch to help you understand the Australian culture more.
Here is a funny and one that helps the world understand “how to speak Australian”. Enjoy!
Settle into Australian life with help from our mentors as you transfer from study to a job.