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It is quite exciting studying in the UK because thousands of international students come into the UK every year to study, students from different cultural background and beliefs. After some time it becomes frustrating trying to cope with the standard of learning and working with people from diverse cultures.
This report was borne out of the need to ascertain the various challenges faced by students studying in the UK and possible benefits accruing to those challenges.
This report will lay emphasis on ethical issues as regards referencing and plagiarism, teacher/student role and expectations, time management, working part time, culture shock, strategies of persuasion and how they differ in the UK.
From the issues raised, conclusion can be drawn on how students are affected positively by studying in a different environment like the UK.
The importance of achieving a higher education has risen in the 21st century and the need to be aware of global advancement is on an upward trend.
The schools in UK are known to have very high standard of teaching compared to other schools in the world through the practice of report writing, assignment, class tests, group work, laboratory practices, presentation and exams.
For some students, studying in the in the UK is a dream realized. They come to gain academic excellence, interpersonal skills, some focus on formal education while some on informal education. In general students come to study in UK with predefined set goals which were not obtainable in their own country.
Studying in the UK could be overwhelming as well as challenging for students from other counties. They find it difficult adapting to a life style totally different from their home country. For instance, West African students who experience dry and wet season in their home country find it difficult to adapt to the UK weather( summer, winter, autumn and spring) which are at extremes at different point. These could be a cause for concern.
Every year, international students come into the UK to gain academic knowledge in different fields and to enrich their individual skills as well. This is mostly because of how the schools have been efficient at structuring their course outline in a manner and way that suits their students.
Most schools offers its students job placements which enables the student to develop his or her individual skills and to have a practical perspective of what the labour market is like when they finish their study. Students can also make good use of their spare time in participating or joining some of the social clubs at the school.
In the cause of achieving some of the above findings the students will definitely find it challenging at one point or the other. Some of the notable challenges are:
2.1 ETHICAL ISSUES
Ethical issues is concerned with doing what is deemed morally right or wrong in accordance with the believes or norms of a particular community.
Studying in the UK has certain rules and norms which should be maintained, these rules have motivated the schools to focus on their ethical responsibilities, these responsibilities makes the students to develop a good code of conduct in adhering to the ethic of the school. A practical good example is referencing and plagiarism, it is expected that when students are giving assignments, they support their arguments with work done by notable scholars. The act of supporting their report with other authors view on the same subject is called Referencing, it goes a long way to show respect for the authors whose work the student is using, it acts as a basis of assessment (doing the right thing) for the course, the act of referencing increases the student's moral values. On the contrary, Plagiarism is a situation where students take other people's ideas and present them as their own; this is an unethical issue which is not encouraged in the schools. Students caught in this act are liable to be punished sometimes if the level of plagiarism is very high the student might be expelled from the school. Plagiarism is a very big offence in schools and students are thought to work in accordance with ethical codes operating within the school.
Currently ethical issues have made the UK schools to rank higher than other schools around the globe because of their ethical issues and responsibilities, their students inculcate these good ethics and bring into the community and the world at large.
2.2 STRATEGIES OF PERSUASION AND HOW THEY DIFFER IN THE UK
According to Maureen, G.,(2002) persuading relies on communicative acts, power on the ability to control others outcomes. In addition, persuasion is the ability to influence other people's actions. Students who come into the UK have and are used to different strategies of persuasion. There three different types of persuasion which will be reviewed;
Persuasion by the use of commanding words or action, this is like a dictatorship relationship where one person exercises punishment as against sound reasoning. Persuading by convincing is another kind of persuasion that promotes desires, intentions, decisions, reasoning and aspirations of an individual. Persuasion by opinions/suggestions, this kind of influence is commonly observed on choice between options.
2.3 CULTURAL SHOCK:
According to Ukcisa (2010) "Culture shock" describes the impact of moving from a familiar culture to one which is unfamiliar. Students who come to study have various cultures that differ and have to adopt that culture of the environment in which they come to study, this leads to shock. Reasons that contribute to culture shock like weather, language, food, social norms and dressing and this is very for some students to adapt.
Most of the student in UK often complained that UK is expensive or the food is not good, or British people are not so friendly. Most of the students go back home because they can't adjust themselves in that culture. This is all because of the change in culture which is called "culture shock".
The biggest problem that most of the students have to face is communication gap, while studying they cannot properly understand what teacher are saying, this hinders the relationship between the teachers and students.
In most cultures some students are reserved from each other but in UK, the environment is friendly. The experience can be a significant learning experience, making you more aware of aspects of your own culture as well as the new culture you have entered. It will give you valuable skills that will serve you in many ways now and in the future and which will be part of the benefit of an international education (ukcisa.2010).
2.4 TIME MANAGEMENT
Time management refers to a range of skills, tools, and techniques used to manage time when accomplishing specific tasks, projects and goals (Wikipedia, 2010)
Time is constant and irreparable for each person, once wasted it can never be regained. Time cannot be controlled. People cannot stop time, cannot slow it down, nor can speed it up, it just can be managed. Bruce Lee said "We all have time to either spend or waste and it is our decision what to do with it but once passed, it is gone forever." Time management is important to people's personal life and study success. It teaches you how to manage your time effectively and make the most of it.
In conclusion, student should learn how to manage their time in study, life and work. Firstly, the student should plan a time table that will be responsible for organizing the study time and it will ensure that the student does one task at a time at the right time. Secondly, the student should have priorities, to identify what is important to them, and then rank them in order and also ensuring all works have a purpose and time limit. This will lead to more effective work. Finally the students should find a study method that is comfortable for them.
In addition, the different cultures cause students to have a different concept on time management. For example, in western countries, people work like "Getting Things Done" (David, 2002). Furthermore, no matter what they do it should be on time. However, in Africa it can be a little late that is flexible with time. Hence, they call these time "African time". Therefore, when studying in western countries like UK, students should learn a good time management and learn to adapt to the study environment.
2.5 WORKING PART TIME
Working part time is a form of employment in which an employee works for few hours in a week in place of full time employment. If an employee works for 20 hours or less than 20 hours in a week then he is considered as a part time worker. Part time job is mostly for students who are studying in colleges or universities and are allowed to do job so that they can easily bear their expenses by doing short time jobs. There are various reasons a student would take up a part time job and these are listed below, it will also show how this affects the students in the UK.
Working part time exposes you to meet other people who are not students and he/she needs to understand his environment and people they work with. This creates a good level of co-operation. Once you understand them, despite coming from different nationalities and culture, it becomes easy for the student to work and communicate with co -workers. Thus, it is better for any student, part time worker, to understand the atmosphere first in which he is going to work. This will definitely show positive results.
2.5.2 TEAM SPIRIT
For working part time you need a good and supportive team that could help you in understanding various concepts of job and aspects of your studies. The team must be supportive because in the beginning one always faces some problems. This also teaches the student on how to work on group projects in school and discuss effectively with the team.
Motivation is the most common factor and the most important aspects of being a part time student .The motivation given by the teachers, by the classmates as well as of co workers in the work place all are very important for the student being able to meet its expenses by working part time. The teachers also enhance your ability as a student by putting their best efforts and giving you the guidelines as how to manage working and studying together. Classmates by being more of friends to provide you ready references and help when needed and coworkers by enhancing your abilities, bringing out the best in the student.
Communication is the most important for any individual in a society. Interacting affectively depends on understanding the impact of language, communication rules, speech act, communication style and the differences between one and two -way communication" (Maureen, G., 2002),.When a new student comes from different place the first problem that he has to face is communication problem. How he communicates with other people who are living around him. If a student is not able to understand properly what other person wants from him. He will not be able to show good results at work. For the fulfillment of what he wants to understand and what he wants to do is first he has to know how to communicate with others, so that he can perform well.
2.6 TEACHER/STUDENT ROLE EXPECTATION
Every single student wants to pursue higher education from well reputed and renowned universities in abroad. Every student is inspired by the teachers and they depend solely on the teachers. The teachers play a very vital role in the society, in innovating ideas and information in the mind of students. Teachers help students by describing what their moral and ethical values are and how one can easily achieve them. There is one common saying that teachers are nation builders.
The relationship between student and teacher is very important and crucial; both depend on each other very much. And in the same way both student and teacher have very high expectations from each other. Every teacher wants to see his student successful in every sector or field. The same applies with the student as well, they wants to learn more from the teacher to achieve their aims and goals.
2.6.2 ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES
The teaching system of schools in the UK is very well known for its well organized and high values in education, all over the world. There are a few guidelines that schools in UK had to adopt in which a teacher can easily access the level of the student and in the same way it makes it very easy for the student to understand the study material without any difficulty. For the student, it is equally important for them as well to fully aware about the assessment strategies followed by the teachers.
The main reason the schools in the UK adopted such assessment strategies is that while studying if any student should face any sort of difficulty, with the help of these strategies one can find solutions. Here teachers assess every student in a unique way which is very effective in solving the problems of the student. For example, a password test is conducted to check the English language level of the student as English is not a first language for every student who came here for higher studies. Secondly for accessing students, teachers have introduced group discussions, presentations, and in-class test so that teacher can know the capability of the students and if any student lacks in any area, they can help that student.
2.7 BENEFITS OF STUDYING IN THE UK
Many developments have been made in every areas of education system.. With the help of modernization many new scientific methods have been taken place in education system. Now education is not limited to any particular school, college, university, city, and country. It has spread all over the world and these changes give rise to the higher expectation for students from teachers and for teachers from their students as well. To some students, studying in the UK may seem difficult because of the different cultures but it has certain benefits which are liste
Studying in the UK not only has its benefits as a student but also as an individual, socially and mentally. It has increased our perception about life and how to deal with different people from different cultural background.
The UK offers certificates that are valued and considered as one of the best in the world. Students who study in the UK have an added advantage over students from other parts of the world when sourcing for jobs this is because their certificates are well respected.
The UK is a developed country and their schools have a standard of learning that makes learning exciting. This ranges from large class rooms to fully equipped auditoriums, available study rooms for group meeting. Among other things are state of the art projections, public address systems extremely fast internet access and many more.
Studying in the UK will broaden student's knowledge on any course they want to study. Schools in UK give options of choosing courses from other discipline to enrich their students' knowledge. For example, a student studying MSc business and management will be offered courses from information technology and Marketing departments which is not their core subject but in other for the student to have broad knowledge of learning which includes a basic knowledge of information technology or Marketing etc.
Studying in the UK encourages association with people from around the world with different cultural background. This experience is an intangible asset and will forever remain in the students mind because they get to see other cultures and compare it with theirs, this is also another learning process.
High rate of students fall victim of plagiarism, this is because some students were not aware of the terms of reference
Studying in the UK has its fair share of benefits for students but these benefits are mostly undermined by challenges which harness the student's knowledge and skills towards problem solving.
Students studying in the UK should be accessed properly before being admitted to and discharged from the schools in order to keep the standard of the school high.
Students studying in the UK should be encouraged to use and maintain the schools facilities, so as to get the best out of their opportunity.
The schools should narrow the borrowed courses down to courses relating to what the students are studying.
Working in groups should apply to all courses in the university as it will encourage intercultural communication which fosters informal education.
Schools in the UK should enlighten their students on the cause and effects of plagiarism, having in mind that most students are not aware it. The schools should guide their students through proper referencing styles.