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This paper on Studying in the UK portrays on foreign students particularly from India those who want to pursue education in the UK and seek to stay on the cutting edge of business tactics and leadership, thus learning their modus-operandi to grow professionally and personally in all facet.
Why foreign students from across the world choose UK?
Issues and challenges faced, Thereby giving a better exposure to the individual about the overall scenario.
Distinguishes various aspects of social and cultural nuance wherein we discuss about various dimensions of culture and models pertaining to it.
What is culture shock? & How to overcome it?
Further, Solution and recommendation to surpass challenges.
British education is a success story. Over the last decade they were successful in pursuing the twin objectives of supporting brilliance and widening access to international students, these have proved to be complementary and mutually reinforcing in attracting international students from across the globe. The UK's success in education is rooted in a commitment to institutional autonomy within a framework of shared values and goals.
The UK's education system has innovated and adapted to new ways and aims to encourage self dependent, considerate and self-assured students. . It also provides high standards (teaching and living), diverse culture, education from here is esteemed and renowned all over the world, Hi-Tech teaching techniques, contemporary amenities. It's worth an investment for life.
In this era of Digital culture, Multi National Employers look forward for students with International exposure as it facilitates to gain more extensive perspective about global market, cultural awareness and proficiency in foreign language hence making them more adept and tactful. Therefore various entities like culture, economy; politics has been discussed in this report.
Students consider British teaching as the top level educating system, helping them to build strong network, giving all exposure to become a better individual, chance to flux in with various and highly diverse students from multiethnic cultural backgrounds.
International students undergo tough and complex situations on arrival and while adjusting to the different place which is new to them. They find articulating and comprehending foreign language baffling, Adopting and adapting the new culture which is drastically different , learning various code of conducts , the need to be self-dependent instead of being interdependent ,views; while the time of stay in UK. Students believe in imbibing and treasuring all the knowledge to become a thoughtful individual.
Procedure / Methodology
A Student's life is full of experiences. This report comprises of secondary and primary research data.
Primary research is done on the basis of experience and findings gathered by the group members while moving to UK and stay in UK. For instance, in one of the que interview we conducted
Secondary research has been done by referring to books and various websites to support the scenario's investigation.
Students and working in international teams
Cross cultural training is becoming popular in today world. Organizations are interested to build their multi cultural teams. Students who get training of cross culture can work effectively in an organization where people are from different culture work together.
Challenges of working in multicultural teams
Working in multicultural team can be good or bad experience, although it's hard to manage the diversity in the organization. Students must gradually learn through experience, handling the culture issues and values. Some take culture diversity positively while others may eventually do stereotyping in a negative way about it and also use diversity as a point of criticism when someone does something wrong. People from different culture have different attributes but if students who study in UK avail the change of culture diversity positively than they will be prepared to work in a multicultural environment.
Students who are the future managers can imbibe / instill (attitude & behaviour) the best suited most advantageous characteristics of different people (from other cultural background), this selective process is cultural diffusion. Cultural diffusion can work in two ways:
It Provides as an aid to international managers to be more open about the fact that the business culture and the local ethnicity are prone to changes. The local culture may benefit the business culture by offering a good deal, Condition being the business culture must be open to accept these new cultural characteristics.
Cultural diffusion typically affects few amendments of the product. Eg a baby milk powder usually packaged with baby's face as a cover of the box is acceptable in US ,However would not be accepted in certain parts of Africa as they would think it's made of babies - So it's mandate that they need to change the packaging.
All these subtle intricacies of knowing the culture can be help increase the company's productivity. The innovations brought into the culture are the results of cultural diffusion which is known as cultural innovation.
Strategies for cross culture communication:
We observed that there are ten strategies for effective cross communication which give understanding of cross culture communication. Every new student who comes in UK first asks questions. The following model starts from ask questions and ends at think twice.
Cultural diversity has different objectives which include gathering different ideas, to create a peaceful environment, increase the productivity. If new student comes here he asks the things to resolve the problems after that he creates the difference in communication perspectives which allows him to understand the context of communication. Building self awareness enables him to aware himself about the consequences of different terminologies; afterwards he understands the complexity of situations. In next step stereotyping is to judge some group and communities by your own understanding that's what student has to avoid keeping this thing in mind that everybody has its own nature and separate the individual acts from community actions. Understanding the difference is the main part which is required when two different cultures meet together and understanding other culture give the clear understanding of the other culture. Listening is most common part in cross culture organization because everybody has to listen first before speaking. It gives you clear understanding of what other want to say. Reacting too quickly can lead to miscommunication. Students represent their cultures and countries that are why they have to be honest with others, other people may get wrong impression of their countries because of their wrong behaviors. Flexibility makes the person understanding and
CULTURAL NORM AND VALUES:
We divide cultural norms and values in four major parts which are symbols, heroes, rituals and values. These things make people different from other culture.
There are few symbols which make people different from others. People can be recognized by the symbols that from which culture they belong to and what are their identity.
People from different culture have different hair cut. Japanese girls have hair cut by which they can hide some portion of their faces. While Africans have curly hairs which make them look different from others.
Clothes in different cultures are different from each other. Dressing of Arabic people is a long dress; while Indians women wear Saree or shalwar kameez on the contrary western dresses are different from them. Most of the Islamic girls wear hijab which is the part of their dress and due to which everybody can recognize them.
In African culture people wear dark colors like orange, dark purple and dark pink. In most Arab countries white color is common. In west we found that black color is most common color here which people like.
Picture and Gesture
Gesture and attitudes are the key elements which are required to recognize the person where he belongs to. These things give an understanding how person react to certain situations.
Cultures are recognized by their heroes too which plays an important role in society building Like Africans are recognized by Nelson Mandela, Pakistani are recognized by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Indians are being recognized by Mahatma Gandhi while few other cultures are being recognized by their gods.
There are many religion in the world and almost all of them have different practices in their religion. Greeting style in most culture is religious like India and Pakistan as well as in UK its common and not related to any religion.
Values of different cultures are different in the world. The concept of good and bad, evil and devil, clean and dirty is different in different cultures. For instance ,Couple can't get close openly in front of public in India/Pakistan. Giving bribe in Pakistan and India is common while in UK it's a crime if you give bribe.http://blog.sylvainliege.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/033009-2027-crosscultur1.jpg
Cultural & Social Value Differences:
In order to interpret the nuance and study the intricacies between the two cultures we execute Hofstede's 5-dimensions of national cultures which provides solution to five major causes that are inequality, security needs, relation, gender roles, time horizon and also differentiates learning and teaching (in India and UK) :-
Inequality / Power Distance Index:
The British culture treats all men/women alike even though people with various statures like rank, wealth and power. On Considering business environment, rapport among top executives or rather superiors and subordinates is informal and are addressed with their first names ,on the contrary Indians are extremely formal , address seniors with title as Sir/Madam and share high level of power distance. India's power distance average is 77 which is high compared to average PDI of world which is 56.5.
Power distance when applied on students (learning and training):
Teachers are addressed/treated as equal outside class.
Teachers are addressed/treated with respect outside class.
Teachers who are young are liked by students.
Older teachers are more liked by students owing to the fact that they have immense knowledge and experience over subject.
Two-way interaction in class is considered as effective for learning.
Learning can be attained only through the command that teacher has over the subject. One- way communication.
Students can challenge / disapprove teacher. Teachers are considered adept and impart sheer truth.
Students are not allowed to criticize teacher, As they are treated as gurus who ignite students with their personal wisdom.
Education is student-centered.
Education is Teacher-centered.
The British culture believes in individuality/individualism. Their relationships are loosely held where everyone is supposed to look after themselves and their immediate folks. In the business environment individuals are self-dependent and do not rely on others for their work rather are concerned about themselves. On the other hand Indians believe in building long term relations and are interdependent on each other and believe in collectivism. Mostly goals are achieved through team work and partaking tasks.
Learning is a continuous process where one can learn immaterial of their age.
Adults can't take up student's role.
Motto of education is "how to learn".
Students are expected to learn , "How to do".
One's initiative is boosted.
One's initiative is discouraged.
Degrees/Certificates have less symbolic values.
Degrees/Certificates provide rank in society.
Association among students is on the basis of interest.
Here it's on the basis of in-groups.
British culture believes in no sex discrimination and hence in equality for all ,although there does exist tinge of gender bias which is apparent in the graph that can be ignored when compared with India .India has masculinity 3rd highest which is 56 as compared to world average 51, high gender prejudices culture, woman are given less importance over man .
Teacher who has command over the subject is appreciated.
Friendly teacher is appreciated.
Feminine academic courses are avoided by male students.
Feminine subjects can be taken over by male student depending on the level of interest.
Good student is admired.
Weak student is admired.
Students who fail are condemned.
Failing is a minor mishap.
Academic subject are chosen as per interest.
Academic subjects are chosen in terms of career opportunities.
The UK's culture is very open; People in UK can deal with risks and changes effortlessly. In business scenario arguments /divergences are reckoned to be normal with co-workers or superiors whereas Indians are apprehensive and partially closed to risk things generally and official disagreements gives unhealthy and negative impression between the employees and happens to fall under bad business conducts. They feel threatened when put in vague/ambiguous situation.
United Kingdom(Weak UA)
Students can handle vague objective, no timetable, learning in unstructured manner.
Students feel comfortable when given precise information, timetable and structured situation for learning.
Teachers are not disregarded when they say they don't know.
Teachers are supposed to know answers to all queries.
Good teacher usually use simple language.
Teachers use technical jargons.
Emotions are suppressed by teacher and students.
Emotional behaviour by student or teacher is allowed.
Disagreements among students are considered as provoking exercise by teachers.
Disagreements amongst students are not encouraged by teachers.
The Britishers have interim goals, they prefer seeing near sighted things rather than distant ones, they believe in providing fix by taking guidance from past to any situation and also fulfil their present necessities and wills .In short they live on present; future issues are resolved when they are confronted with it. Indians tend to do extensive planning so as to reach for the future expectations which they wish for, average being 61 whereas world norm is 48. A higher LTO score can be indicative of a culture that is perseverant and prudent. (Hofstede, 1986).
Amusement is considered as norm.
Striving hard is considered as norm.
Mathematics is not given much importance.
Mathematics is of paramount importance.
Children are spendthrifts.
Children are prudent / parsimonious.
Students consider success and failure is occult and sheer luck.
Students deem success as a result of sheer efforts and failure due to lack of drive.
Looking at the above differences which are way too high, it's very important to be well versed with UK's culture before arriving here so as to be resistant towards cultural shock.
Trompenaars -Turner suggested seven dimensional cultural model and on applying this model to the contrasting culture of UK and India we can comprehend the various differences (among nations) smoothly, which is as below :-
1st Dimension, Hierarchy Vs Equality:
Equality in all contexts. Teachers are treated equal outside class by students.
Inequality / Hierarchy mean people being superior to others. Teachers are always superior to students, can't be treated equal outside class as well.
2nd Dimension, Achievement Vs Ascription:
For students to achieve success depends on the performance and accomplishments. Student or an individual has to prove his worth again and again since this theory assumes that they lose their status/ rank every day.
This describes where the person stands and the way people link his/her status in the culture. As per ascriptive community, individuals receive their rank from age, birth, chattels; An individual doesn't need to strive to attain his rank because this stature on ground of his being has already been granted.
3rd dimension, Sequential Vs synchronic cultures
People stick to schedule and time commitment is a must.
Schedule is changeable. Time commitments are not absolute.
Time is considered to be substantial and divisible.
Time is indefinable and flexible.
One task is performed at a time.
Multi-tasking is done.
They adhere to a plan that has been made.
Plans are changeable.
4th dimension, Internal Vs External control
Internalistic people consider nature with a mechanistic outlook.
Nature for Externalistic is more of organic view.
They believe nature as complicated piece of equipment that can easily be controlled with the apt set of proficiency and adeptness.
They believe nature is occult and cannot shape or mould them their way.
They are guided by inner-self. Just a pledge is the commencement for all the happenings.
They are outer-directed. They adapt themselves to the given circumstances.
5th Dimension, Individualism Vs Communitarianism
Individual decisions are made.
Group decisions are made.
People place individual before community.
People place community before individual.
They are supposed to look after themselves and their family.
They are supposed to look after the entire family(joint family)
Eminence of livelihood is strongly connected to the individual's development.
Eminence of livelihood is strongly connected to the extent to which he looks after his fellow men.
Community is evaluated on grounds of how they meet the interest of individual.
Individual is evaluated on grounds of how he meets the expectation of society.
6th Dimension, Universalism Vs Particularism
In universalistic society; laws, rules and regulations takes higher stand or precedence over family / friends. Law is given more logical significance over relations.
In Particularistic society; relations /family bonding are given more preference over laws, rules and regulations. Law only systemize how people relate to one another.
7th Dimension, Affective Vs Neutral
Emotions are not suppressed. Feelings can be expressed overtly.
Emotions are suppressed for instance Teachers and students are supposed to repress emotions.
Affective society may interpret neutral cultures signals which are less explicit as of low importance and may ignore it as well.
Neutral society may feel affective cultures signals to be very loud and assume that they are too-excited and excessively emotional.
Qualification from UK institution is very prestigious, as standards are high at all levels. The qualification student gain from here is recognized worldwide, and UK courses facilitate an Individuals caliber, skills and talents. Also develops flexibility, open-mindedness and cross cultural sensitivity which is considered as a crucial skill in today's digital era. All these qualities are valued by employers worldwide.
International students while their stay in the UK, immerse into multiethnic culture which gives a global view. Since the students are exposed to multiple cultures and traditions that exist here they gradually start cultural diffusion which leads to cultural innovation.
Even different work cultures and working styles play an important role for students to learn various management skills. The students can use these skills to help the organizations which are underdeveloped and also in the process of becoming global after they get back to their respective countries.
UK is a launch pad for a student to achieve global prospects, they are also given a chance in the UK to learn the education system and act as major part in building the economy of the country.
Various models such Hofstede, Tromepenaar, Edward gives insight on the various dimensions of culture.
Students also take keen interest in visiting various places to know the history which ages back to hundreds of years. This sometimes also is adventurous as it involves traveling and visiting historical and geographical locations. Students who are wanderlust find UK to be an ideal place to venture, apart from studies.
There are excellent opportunities for travel, both within the UK and further afield to mainland Europe.
But sometimes students find it very difficult to cope up with the pace and the way of life here which leads to de-motivation, anxiety and stress which is called culture shock. The students can get over this with the help of many organizations which counsels and gives orientation program.
Inculcating ethnorelativism and being interculturally competent results in a moral humanism that promotes harmony between peoples.
Solution & Recommendation
On the basis of above done analysis for the briefing paper the achievable solutions are:-
To improve the quality of international student's life many orientation programmes are available.
Solution for cultural shock: To triumph over cultural shock student should be candid and discuss his/her issue either with the counselling agencies which are managed to support international students or do proactive counselling where the student must talk to other peers or local students to understand their code of conducts and lifestyles.
Student must keep themselves occupied by engaging in extra-curriculum activities and venture new places around them.
Since good communication skill, power to articulate and negotiate is always rewarded. Therefore, Communication workshops which are very beneficial and help students to deal with their short comings and overcome language barriers. Much emphasis must be given on this if the student realises that language is causing him/her a problem.
Proper time management must be inculcated to balance personal and professional life.
Joining community centre helps to develop network which gives a wider perspective of understanding of multiple cultures. Participating in events, unleashing the talents helps fight boredom and loneliness.
To overcome technological problems in day-to-day life, they must device new strategies to implement and seek advice from corresponding lecturer and ask associates for assistance.
Students must be a good negotiator in order to be a good manager in future. For this it's important that they are :- flexible ,creative , patient and tackle issues effectively.
Student must be very optimistic and must motivate oneself by putting positive quotes posters etc. Implementing Cartwright's nine motivating factors and as far as possible adhering to it, can prove to be very helpful for the student. These are:-
Identification: Influencing others and getting influenced by what others say.
Equity: Can be best described as "As you sow so shall you reap." There must be balance between expectation and return etc.
Equality: Everyone must be treated alike immaterial of their position and power.
Consensus: Is about building rapport among individuals.
Instrumentality: Is a device to attain objective.
Rationality: Is a method to management and to resolve issue.
Development: Is to improvise oneself through trainings.
Group dynamics: Is about mutual understanding, commitment, drive to excel group interest by being active in a group.
Internalisation: Notion of this can be achieved through acknowledgement and application of all that is learnt through valuable education, training and development. (Cartwright,1999)