Psychological Difficulties Faced by International Students at Australian Universities

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Question :

Questions- This assessment will cover following questions:

  • What is the main issue that students face at Australian university?
  • What solutions are used by universities for overcoming the challenges?
  • Explain the academic environment and culture at Australian universities?
Answer :

Psychological Difficulties Faced by International Students at Australian Universities

The most common psychological issue faced by international students is anxiety and depression. The academic environment and culture of the Australian universities is different from the native place of the international students. Thus loneliness, home sickness, discrimination or isolation on the basis of racial or cultural grounds often make international students depressed. It has been also observed that international students experiences racial discrimination or insulting comments from the fellow students in universities (Forbes-Mewett and Sawyer, 2011). Further the fear and educational burden also makes them anxious and depress. Another most common psychological issue identified in these university learners is addiction. Due to loneliness, easy availability or poverty students are often vulnerable to addictions. There has been high percentage of international students who are addicted to alcohols and drugs. In the wake of addiction and depression many international students also try to commit suicide or harm to others.

In Australian universities students may also feel that they do not have any guardian and thus they make become aggressive or violent (Yue and Le, 2012). Hence students may also face anger or attention deficit issues. The emotional well being is one of the important aspect of health of an individual. However due to change in social, cultural and surrounding environment international students may also feel difficulties in sleeping and thus insomnia may also develop. When international students used to observe the other native learners in Australia to be highly efficient in academics and other professional skills then they may become nervous. It can make them more nervous and it can result in panic attacks.

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The trauma reactions and depressive symptoms are quite common among such students. The cultural difference is one of the significant factor which affect the collaboration of international students with other local Australians (Abrar and Mukminin, 2016). It is considered as key driving force for the psychological problems in Australian universities. Another common disorder which can influence students is eating disorder. Many students used to develop abnormal eating habits. For instance some people may begin to eat too much in response to depression while others may not find food appropriate to their culture and thus they may began to reduce the food quantity in abnormal manner (Sin, 2015) . It can also be accomplished by substance abuse which is even harmful for the physical health of the students.

Remedies to overcome challenges

Australia has been popular choice among international communities for the higher education. However the increasing number of psychological disorders influences the engagement and academic performance of international learners (Day and, 2015). Thus it is very important that suitable measures must be adopted by the University authorities to overcome the situation. The first strategy which can be used by the Australian universities is that there must be counselling sessions for the international students so that their difficulties can be understood. Such type of interactions with the professional mental health service providers will help to identify the factors which causes depression, anxiety or other psychological disorders.

It has been identified that most of the issues are caused because international students does not find any guidance or support. The psychological counselling will assist them to share their problems, griefs and other concerns (Silove, Ventevogel and Rees, 2017). Substance use and abuse is also one of the key issue identified in Australian universities for the international students. Thus there must be regular monitoring and controlling of the students to ensure that learners are not involved in addictions or any kind of such illegal activities affecting their mental health. Apart from these tactics some measures must also be taken at strategic level (Hirai, Frazier and Syed, 2015). Since Australian universities have good proportion of the international students there must be a separate control team which can help international students in issues regarding food, house, expenses as well as language and cultural difficulties.

When the basic needs and issues of students will be addressed then it will bring significant difference in the psychological health. International students also faced discrimination or bullying. However due to fear or unavailability of any effective framework they do not report such harassments. In order to reduce the severity and number of such mental disorders it is suggested that such kind of harassment complains must be deal at priority (Sin, 2015). When students will feel that their issues are responded properly their stress and fear will be minimised and their probability of being exposed to such psychological disorders will also decline.

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