Reflection on Interviews:
I must say that prior getting contacted with the students of La Trobe I only had theoretical knowledge about global citizenship or inter-cultural communication. The interviews that were conducted by me helped me to enhance my knowledge towards the concept of Global citizen. Interviewing the students of La Trobe helped me a lot to develop my understanding. All the students were very cooperative and they gracefully participated in my academic project. I do not have to make any kind of formality with them and they responded to my queries very enthusiastically. The University has students from around the Globe including USA, Europe and Asian countries like Bangladesh, India as well. It is for the same reason I got the opportunity of understanding the Global culture. I observed that the students from the Asian Countries especially from India and Bangladesh felt a little awkward while sharing their experience or interviewing with me. It was perhaps because they were not so fluent in English. I observed that they had a different accent of English and they usually face problems to understand the accent of the Australian or the students who has US origin.
I must include that the University has opened its door for any person seeking for academic opportunities and has been successful as well in attracting students from around the Globe. The university is highly been internationalized in terms of its culture as well as education system. In terms of Global Citizenship I must say that the Australia based students were very friendly towards the other students and I did not find any kind of mismatch among these people. They were friends. This has automatically given me the impression that the people have adopted global citizenship irrespective of any kind of forceful act. Therefore, I can say that these things or characteristics develop within an individual when they fall under such situation.
At the time of conducting the interviews, when I asked a few foreigners about their future plans, they said they shall return to their own country and shall continue their professional life there only. I have observed that many students from around the Globe come to Australia to pursue their education but they are not found to continue their professional career here. There was a girl who had plans for marriage in her future rather than any other professional goals. In such cases, I can say that it completely depends on a person’s choice and thinking about their future goals. If certain issues that I shall identify in terms of the native people then I must take this into consideration that the culture of the people are not same. European and especially the British people are much disciplined and they want to live a peaceful life, they are not the exact fun loving people. I have observed that they were very direct to their answer rather than making any kind of fun. There has been an attitude of these people that showed that they are superior to others. On the other hand, when I asked the same thing to an Australia origin student, I found that they are more fun loving and they like to enjoy their time more than devoting it to studies or other serious activities.
My second round of interview was also conducted in the premises of La Trobe University. I found that not only the students but other faculties of the University were also supportive and they nicely spoke to me and answered my queries. At a certain point of time, I faced problem regarding because one of the authorities was busy and could not make it up for the face to faced interview. Nevertheless, we had a telephonic conversation and he answered my queries over the phone calls only. It has to be mentioned here that there is a major difference between a face to face interview and that is done over the phone. I was completely unaware of the body language of the person and whether the questions were clear to him or not. Furthermore, it might also happen that the person could not link the queries with himself and just gave a neutral answer to the questions that I asked without further going into details.
In terms of multi-cultural work place, I must say that Australia is rich in its multi-cultural diversity. The people are very friendly and they are present to help each at every instance (Isin, 2013). In terms of higher authority as well, there were many people who do not have their origin here in Australia but they are at quite a high designated position. This clearly states that the Australian culture supports the inter-cultural relationship and other forms of interactions. I have understood that it is only by the help of the people of a particular nation, others can learn about the culture and the ethics of a particular country (Reysen & Katzarska-Miller, 2013). It will be a wrong expectation from a person who has come from abroad to acknowledge things about the nation that they are currently residing in. Therefore, it can be easily claimed that it is the responsibility of the people of the country to teach others about their culture and other diversities. In case, if it is found that a person from the abroad is not able to match themselves with the culture of the new country, it is the responsibility of the citizen of that country to help him or her to overcome such challenges (Martin & Nakayama, 2013). Human behaviour and the treatment that one get in a foreign country implies the culture of that country.
If I have to find certain flaws in the University that does not support internationalization, then it has to be mentioned that the University does not offer any kind of other language courses for the foreign students. The University might start a number of courses or subjects that are related to the European or the French culture (latrobe.edu.au, 2016). In fact, the Indian history is also important and it attracts many students towards learning and understanding the culture and history of India. Moreover, the University has the provision of a good number of Asian students. Therefore, it is recommended that the University come up with a diversification of courses in its academic lists that shall attract more students. In addition to this, there should be strict guidelines drawn for the students that irrespective one’s culture or ethnic background, each and every student must be treated equally and with respect. There are a variety of ethnic groups and their culture varies from one group to the other (Watkins & Glover, 2016). Adapting to this dynamic nature of a particular place or region makes a person eligible to cope to with the culture. It has to be remembered that schools or Universities are the places where people learn things that is portrayed in their later life situations. Therefore, providing a proper education in terms of understanding the nature of the diversity in the world is important (Keyman & I?duygu, 2013). It has to be understood that each and every country has their own culture, language, tradition that marks them with a separate identification. However, this difference shall not become a threat for the world. It is for the same reason, understanding the importance of being culturally diverse and the ability of tolerance towards other culture is important.
Reflection on Weekly Discussion:
The weekly discussions were based on several factors like global citizenship, intercultural communication and other such topics. In terms of understanding these concepts I must say that I was completely unaware of the actual meaning of these terms. Primarily I used to think that a person who has got the citizenship of the whole world is said to be a Global citizen however, my misconception was cleared after I attended the weekly discussion classes. I have understood that Global citizenship is a kind of responsibility that has to be undertaken by an individual to become a part of the globe (Keyman & I?duygu, 2013). In this emerging world, there has been increasing impact of globalization and it is for the same reason, it has become important that an individual must have the sense of global citizenship and must be aware of the lifestyle and the culture of the people from around the world.
In case of understanding the intercultural communication, one thing is clear to me that diversity in terms of culture is highest in the academic institutions rather than any other places. I have understood that the ability of a person to undertake the difference of culture varies. Some have limited capability to deal with culturally diverse people and it is when a dilemma arises between two people. Interaction is very important to understand the culture of other people. Segregation and narrow communication has declined the opportunity of people to know about each other and develop a better understanding of the cultural diversity. In this respect, it has to be mentioned that with the increasing impact of the availability of internet and the development of various social networking sites as well, the opportunity of knowing people from different countries having different culture and ethnic background has increased a lot. People support other people of different nations by any raising their voice using the social media as the basic platform. In the recent gay-lesbian movement, whole world found to support the people asking for their basic rights. These are the symptoms that shows that the difference of the cultural barrier is decreasing and the people are getting involved in making themselves a part of the world culture.
Another perspective of culture that I like to mention here is that there has been an increasing havoc regarding the increasing terrorism activities. It has been pointed out that the Muslim or the Arab nations are the main reason behind the declining situation of the world’s safety. It is for the same reason there has been a creation of terror among the people in respect to this particular Islam culture. However, in my opinion, terrorism has nothing to do with religion. The reasons are different for the increasing terror activities and it has nothing to do with the culture or the religion of a place or people (Fonagy et al., 2016). If a particular religion has a definite culture and customs, it shall be addressed with greater respect.
The best understanding about the intercultural behaviour and communication as well was gained at the time of interaction with the people of the University. The kind of enthusiasm that the students showed at the time of participation was very encouraging. People there had different attitudes towards the program but with the answers received from them it was evident that the students understand the importance of cultural diversity in the society (Keyman & I?duygu, 2013). The University has a website of them, which was also helpful. There were students available for online chats and used to help to resolve any kind of query at any point of time. They respect each others’ culture and with the passage of time, they have developed a mutual understanding for each others. It has to be mentioned here that making distinction in respect to different cultural values will result in the increase of hatred and difference and shall not improve the condition of the world (Keyman & I?duygu, 2013).
I can share my personal experience here. I have never been culturally or ethically being bullied or disrespected. I have friends who belong to different cultures and are from different countries of the world but these factors never created any kind of negative impact in my life. I have to say that I have improved my personality a lot by keeping a good contact with these groups of people. In fact the interview session at La Trobe was also a learning experience for me. All these things are definitely going to help me in my future both in my academic career as well as in professional career.
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