International Education and Cultural Competence

A fundamental part of globalisation is education, it is what sparks the growth of intercultural understanding, cultural awareness and knowledge. International education refers to when an individual or group from any culture, travels to another country of different cultural traditions and studies there.

It’s importance lies not only for the benefit of the individual person, but to a worldwide scale, it’s effects are:

  • Brings cultures together through equal education
  • Globalising industries
  • Creates an international and diverse work force
  • We are able to understand global issues

However like all movements that revolve around globalisation, international education does have it’s issues, mainly based on; ethnocentrism and parochialism

Australia being a country which hosts a great amount of international students is a great example of how parochialism is present in the attitudes of Australians. As according to Marginson; “Australian’s are often too parochial, trapped within an Australian-centred view of a diverse and complex world”. The consequence of this mindset in a large amount of Australian students is that the international students who come to seek understanding of Australian culture will find difficulty or little success as the local students seek little to no interest in learning of their culture.

While it’s clear this mindset is still present, I do believe there is a shift away from parochialism as worldly affairs and events that have occurred, as well as reported incidents in other countries as well as our own, resulting in mass interest and subsequently, cultural understanding. However this also may boost the ethnocentric attitude of many.

The decrease of both these attitudes within Australian students, and as a population in general, is important to help accommodate International Students and make the effects of International education come to fruition.


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