And then I went outside for free cupcakes also supported by the SSAF fees. I went to support the final year art students as they get funding from the Union for their exhibition depending on how many people turn up to get some free cupcakes and put their name down. Its feels great to be supporting students and I encourage you to come on down.
Anxiety can be felt when students have had something happen to them all of a sudden or it could be for no reason.
Students it helps to see a counsellor sooner rather than later. If you see one of RMIT’s ones they’d usually be able to write a reference for you should you need special consideration.
It is normal for you to be anxious when RMIT has decided to hold an exclusion hearing during the semester hampering your studies and making you feel like you are in limbo land.
The way that RMIT treats International students is like cash cows. International students pay about $14000-$28000 per semester to study at RMIT. On top of that there are not many scholarships for International students.
International students like myself didn’t know a lot about the support offered at RMIT. Nor did I know about the Orientation program at RMIT. This is one of the causes of failure in a few subjects and be put “At risk”.
They need to have good English language skills and passing the IELTS test is not enough. Even though some students have scores of 6.5/7 for their IELTS, this as quoted by “The Age”( http://www.theage.com.au/national/education/beaten-by-the-language-barrier-20111031-1mrye.html, Accessed 2/2/2012 at 1:25pm) is not enough. Their sentences are not as good as the local students and academics find it hard to understand them. Hence the high failure rate and the many complaints. There isn’t a verification system in place for International students entry such as an interview to test their language skills. The English language standards for entry into courses needs to be changed so that international students might be treated more fairly and less like cash cows.
It is also difficult for some students to get jobs because of their limited English. For most jobs, English is a must. Especially for hospitality and retail. On urbanspoon.com for some of the restaurants and cafes most people said that some of the wait staff (particularly Asian restaurants and cafes) does not have good “English skills/ Hard to understand them”. Hence they do not get much money. 7-11 ( a convenience chain) is not a good place for students to work in because of low pay and low security. But many students find themselves working at 7-11 due to poor English skills and thinking that “because I’m working by myself I can get away with this”.
After graduation it is again difficult to get good jobs as they require good English. AND BY THAT I MEAN GOOD ENGLISH!!!!
Good thing is that RMIT waived the application fee. But that is not enough to encourage students to study at RMIT. Whilst its reputation is good, there needs to be more done to make sure that students study successfully such as implementing English language programs. There is a conversational class which is “non obligatory”, so as a result not many students turn up to this because they are scared to ask for help. This should be made compulsory for all students.
It is a great initiation to implement the RMIT MATES program, a program that helps new International students adjust to life in Melbourne. But not many people like myself knew about the program before they started at RMIT. It would have saved a lot of hassles and we would know a lot more about free services such as the Airport Pick up service.
More promotion about the RMIT Orientation would be a good idea. I will cover this event and write it up.
I know that this is expensive but it is a MUST for every student. It is one of the visa conditions. Medibank has good OSHC and you can apply for it online before you come to Australia and when you are here you can pick up your card from the Hub @RMIT. If and when you go to the doctor/pharmacy show them your card and you might not have to pay a single cent and if you do you can go to Medibank to get your money (or some of it depending your policy) If you are a new student at RMIT you also get a free goodie bag at the start of semester which includes a copy of the FeelBetter rewards program. You can sign up for this and if you do you will get heaps of discounts on health and lifestyle products. You can have oshc for your entire program. So for three years its about $1440.00 and for four years its about $1920.00. You can claim straightaway on most extras.
Join up with St Johns Ambulance as you save on ambulance fees if you need to. Its about $60 for singles.
Many international students will feel this at some point. You’re not the only one. The feeling of isolation is a part of culture shock which many people feel at some stage.
Some symptoms you might feel:
*You might be a bit homesick for your own food/comforts etc.
*Weight gain due to all the unhealthy food and no exercise.
* Crying for no reason
But there are ways around it such as:
* Talking to someone whether it will be your family/ friends back home.
* Make some new friends here. Some of them should be from outside of your course.
* Join a few clubs at RMIT. RMIT student union has quite a few clubs that might interest you. Check out: http://www.su.rmit.edu.au. And if there isn’t one, why don’t you start one? You only need ten interested students to start one.
There are also a few sporting clubs for you to join as well.
* Exercise. Get out of the house and go walking if you live near a park. Or walk to uni if you live close to it.
* Try new foods. You never know what you might like and your tastebuds will adjust very soon. Have a look at some of the Melbourne blogs for inspiration as to where you can go and what to try.
* Explore Melbourne and the rest of Australia. Sport and rec have many trips on offer as well as student union and they often subsardise trips for students.
* Is English your second language? If so try and make some local friends and practise your English. RMIT has English conversation classes every week during the semester to help students who are having trouble with English. It’s free and its better than failing! Trust me.
* Volunteer at local charities or Student Union. You can make plenty of friends and learn new skills along the way.
* Learn how to cook.
* If you have a TV at home, watch free to air TV. There are 16 free to air TV channels which has a whole range of Australian, Americian and English TV programs. And of course if you miss your homecountry SBS has a lot of foreign films for you to watch.
* Do your research about Melbourne and RMIT. Read lots of blogs and join RMIT MATE as a mentee.
A helpful note to the parents:
I know you like to put a lot of pressure on your kids but try not to. It does add to their sense of isolation. Too much pressure might result in them failing courses. Let them talk freely about how they feel and be there for them.
Let them settle in the first year and then put lots of pressure on them afterwards.