Many students go abroad to improve their English proficiency and it has become a common phenomenon for international students who want to achieve higher education in English speaking countries; however, non-language factors can affect ESOL students while studying at University of Auckland. This essay will discuss several problems such as financial difficulties, cultural differences and social factors, mainly in an Asian perspective. First of all, financial problem is one of the major problems students face when studying abroad, particularly for international students.
Parents send a large amount of money to their child so that they could spend it on tuition fees and living costs, such as accommodation fees and other personal spending. Many students may find that the tuition fees and the cost of living in New Zealand are remarkably expensive compared to their home country. For example, the costs of tuition fee for international students are three times more expensive than domestic students. Also the living costs, such as home rent, transport, grocery and household supply costs, in New Zealand are significantly high compared with Korea.
Majority of students could pay off their weekly rent and living costs, however, not all of the students are capable of dealing with this situation. Therefore, some students would try looking for a part-time job to solve this problem and this may affect the way students perform in school or even outside the school. It would be helpful for international students, if the University help them look for a part time job. Secondly, students may experience difficulties dealing with cultural differences and adjusting to a different life style in a foreign country.
Since Asian students come from a collectivist cultural background, they will eventually experience differences from an individualist western culture. It is widely known that Asian students do not disregard their teachers but treat them with honor and respect. For this reason, students do not ask or express their feelings during the class, since it is regarded rude. Also, different environment, climate and the eating culture could be some of the factors that affect students while studying.
For example, a student from Philippine may feel New Zealand extremely cold since Philippine have a relatively high temperature throughout the year. Furthermore, for international students eating healthy could be a problem because they do not live with their parents, they tend to eat out and consume bad food. This may affect their health in the future. In addition, maintaining student visa status is one of the major problems international students face.
International students in New Zealand need to provide information that they have enough balance in their bank account and an evidence of a high rated attendance to get a student visa in order to study in University of Auckland each year. However, if the students do not meet the requirements, they would get refused from living in New Zealand. Therefore, students need to keep in mind that it is crucial having a suitable visa status in order to study in the future. Finally, social problem is one of major issue for students.
There are many different nationalities at the University and students have difficulties adjusting with people with other ethnicity. Many students like to be a group so they normally associate with the others who have same nationality. As a result, students may lose a chance to communicate with native speakers and it may affect the students’ performances as well. One of the reasons why students come to University of Auckland is to learn how to communicate with natives, however, this can not be achieved when interacting with one ethnic group.
Moreover, students will obviously experience loneliness and homesickness when living away from their families and this could be a problem. Perhaps, this is one of the problems why so many students suffer from depression. To sum up, many ESOL students face problems such as financial difficulties, dealing with cultural differences and social problems. However, it is possible for the students to enjoy their University life successfully if the student has the will to engage and accept the difference.