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International Students’ Workshop

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1 International Students’ Workshop
Julie Allen, International Students Immigration Service Claire Gordon, TLC Adam Sandelson, LSE Student Counselling Service The format of the Workshop on may be slightly different to this powerpoint. Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) Wednesday 31st October 2012 2.00pm – 3.00pm, KSW 1.04 Moodle: Learning World (LW)

2 Today’s programme CULTURE SHOCK
Julie Allen, International Students Immigration Service ACADEMIC EXPECTATIONS Claire Gordon, Teaching and Learning Centre SETTLING IN & STRESS MANAGEMENT Adam Sandelson, LSE Student Counselling Service

3 Culture Shock – what is it?
The impact of moving from a familiar culture to one which is unfamiliar ‘Culture shock, like love, is a temporary madness’ (from ‘Culture Shock Thailand’)

4 Culture Shock These are Initial shock Honeymoon period Distress period
… is often discussed in terms of “transitional phases.” These are Initial shock Honeymoon period Distress period Adjustment Phase Independence

5 Adapted from “Orientated for Success”, edited by M Barker, Australian International Development Assistance Bureau, 1990.

6 ‘Fallen Star’ – Do Ho Sun. Korean artists who lives in the US
‘Fallen Star’ – Do Ho Sun. Korean artists who lives in the US. This is an installation of his house (a ‘hanok’) in Korea which has crashed into the buiding he first lived in when he arrived in the US

7 The insides of his Korean house have spilled all over his new home in Rhode Island and created complete chaos

8 What students say ‘You have to depend on yourself in London. It’s easy to feel lonely here’ (student from China) ‘I quickly learned that people don’t touch each other very much here. That is very different from Brazil’ ‘Sri Lanka is very slow and relaxed. The pace of life there is so different. Coming to London is like jumping on a rollercoaster’ ‘I didn’t experience culture shock, I experienced price shock!’ (student from China)

9 What students say “When I first came to London and I went on the underground I looked up at the escalator and I saw every race of people and I thought ‘I will never forget this’” (student from India)

10 Resources Website created by international students at Loughborough and Southampton university: UKCISA: International Students House:

11 Academic expectations
Dr. Claire Gordon, Teaching and Learning Centre and European Institute Previous educational experience and LSE Expectations of students at LSE Becoming an effective reader, Participating actively in class Developing your essay writing skills What’s expected of you and how to succeed here at LSE. Steep learning curve in you early weeks – as you get used to the system – finding out where buildings are, how to use the library, moodle,.

12 China Iran Syria Jordan South Korea Taiwan Indonesia France Germany
Spain Mexico Dominican Republic Japan Algeria Morocco Libya Egypt Ghana Canada United States Australia Kazakhstan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan Russia Finland Saudi Arabia Oman Latvia Poland Greece India Sri Lanka Mauritius Bulgaria Romania Costa Rica Chile Argentina South Africa Norway Denmark UAE Kuwait Vietnam Haiti Nigeria Cote D’Ivoire Tanzania Kenya Uganda Turkey … … to name a few Students come from all over the world and wide range of educational and cultural backgrounds…. Of course there are similarities in terms of good rigorous academic scholarship – but five weeks in to term -- you may well be already experiencing the challenge of dealing with (widely) differing expectations about how to approach reading, participation in class and essay writing. Your previous educational experience

13 Small group activity: Expectations of students in your home country concerning: Reading Participating in class Writing good essays

14 Academic practice At LSE Common Good writing and referencing skills
Following departmental guidelines Being proactive and active Talking to teachers, other students, education professionals … Developing your own well reasoned and substantiated argument Understanding that there is more than one answer Common Diligence Respect Punctuality Excellence (elitism) Hard work Recall Reading lots of books 14

15 (1) Becoming an effective reader
Study at LSE – self-directed learning. Reading lists – articles, book chapters -- often very long, overwhelming. Divided into essential and recommended readings. Expectations on students -- read and digest large amounts of material and develop critical analytical skills to interpret and evaluate such resources. Procrastination. Hard to concentrate Language difficulties

16 (1) Becoming an effective reader
Be strategic about your choice of readings. Prioritise quality reading not quantity. Develop targeted reading skills. Look at seminar questions/lecture slides/old exam papers. Identify gaps in knowledge. Take good notes from the start of the year. Develop a referencing system that suits you. Self-directed approach to studies.

17 (2) Participating actively in class
Lectures and seminars. Combination of student presentations, class discussion, small group work, problem sets. Develop your analytical, presentational and communication skills. Expectations on students – active engagement in class. Challenge if you are not confident about your English language speaking skills, your ability to formulate an answer, come from different educational background where class participation was not encouraged/fostered/ surrounded by people who appear to be far more articulate and confident than you do.

18 (2) Participating actively in class
Prepare well for class (cf: becoming an effective reader) Set up study groups with friends Try out your ideas during small group work (think about specific point and evidence) Be aware that trying to formulate your ideas orally is very good way of developing your analytical skills as well as identifying gaps in knowledge, understanding Dare to step outside your comfort zone Classes are usually constructive learning environments

19 (3) Developing your essay writing skills
What lecturers are looking for – expectations on students Focused answer to question Clearly developed individual argument Engagement with academic literature Use of theory and/or evidence to ground your argument Clear structure Clear writing style Consistent referencing system Evidence to back up your argument -- don’t tell the story. WATCH OUT! description alone counts for few marks because it does NOT demonstrate your ability to: select, organise, prioritise or adapt ideas Use of sources/evidence is often an important criteria examiners are looking for. You are likely to use both “tutor-supplied” references, and ones you have identified yourself. Referencing shows you can ground your own ideas within (a set of) existing intellectual debates – “originality” rarely means “totally new”…

20 (3) Developing your essay writing skills
Plan your essay thoroughly. State your argument upfront, provide a roadmap – in your introduction. Keep it simple silly (KISS). Keep your argument in mind throughout. Links ideas/paragraphs directly back to the question. Show…don’t just tell and don’t tell the story. Think about feedback you have already received. Read through your work at the end. Underpinning all this and what will lead to your success is – developing a self-directed approach to all aspects of your study Good luck and where to go for more help will be covered at end.

21 Settling in and stress management
Adam Sandelson LSE Student Counselling Service Settling in Tips Practical approaches Sources of advice and help

22 Settling in Tips Talk to others who may feel the same.
Speak to people at home but also get involved here. You are allowed to enjoy yourself! Be realistic about what to expect from student life and from yourself Try to balance work and leisure Give yourself time to adjust You don't have to get everything right straight away. Food and sleep …

23 Practical approaches Set realistic and achievable goals
Short term targets, longer term strategies Break down huge activities into small manageable tasks Focus on the task, not the outcome Remember past successes Time for breaks

24 Stress Management Skills
Physical, behavioural, cognitive… Regularly switch off Schedule some kind of physical activity. Good self care Sleep, diet, etc. Be aware of caffeine, alcohol and nicotine Take time out without guilt. Acknowledge anxiety, rather than denying it. Ask: ‘Are my negative thoughts realistic?’

25 LSE Student Counselling Service KSW.507
Free and confidential. Mainly short-term counselling. Book appointments in advance. 20 minutes Drop in sessions at 3.00 each day See website for stress-management handout. Self-help resources on a wide range of student issues (study-related and personal difficulties) e.g. relaxation MP3’s

26 Presentations Studying and Surviving at LSE
See website for PowerPoint slides Adjusting to Life at LSE Wednesday 7th November, 12:00pm - 1:30pm: CON 2.05 Good Writing Psychology Friday 9th November, 3:00pm - 4:00pm: CLM G.02 The Psychological Challenges Faced By MSc Students Friday 16th November, 1:00pm - 2:00pm: OLD 3.21

27 Sources of advice and help
Your Academic Adviser Library, IT Services Departmental staff Student Services Centre Disability and Well-being Office Moodle: Learning World Student Union and Advice Centre Medical Centre Deans Mental Health & Well-being Advisers Counselling Service TLC study-skills advisers Language Centre Don't wait until problems have grown impossibly large … it’s OK to ask for help earlier.

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