We will write a custom Assessment on Studying In the United Kingdom specifically for you
301 certified writers online
Globalisation has brought people from diverse cultures together due to technology. This has seen these people working and learning to communicate often with each other. The education sector has not been spared especially in the UK where students from other cultures are relocating to study in the UK. While this move seems exciting, most students find themselves experiencing culture shock (Carter 9).
Students from other cultures are at a loss on how to relate to the new culture. Take for example two students from South Africa and Italy who have relocated to study in the UK. It is important to note that these students are from different cultures yet need to conform to the UK culture. Cultural differences continue to pose a challenge to most students coming to study in the UK, it is therefore important to understand and address the issue.
Cultural Differences in the UK
The social attitude of the UK students in most instances differs from that of their counterparts. When the students first arrive to study in the UK, they notice some aspects that differ from what they are accustomed to. This culture shock that is often experienced has raised numerous questions on how to understand the different cultures and whether there are set guidelines that need to be followed to adapt to a particular culture.
Dr Geert Hofstede attempted to explain this issue by conducting a worldwide research in more than 60 countries (Hofstede 14). He differentiated cultures by applying the four cultural dimensions namely; the power distance, individualism/collectiveness, uncertainty avoidance and the masculinity/feminity dimension.
The Dimensions Of Culture
Studying in the UK is not only prestigious but also offers quality education to both native and international students. This is the reason why currently, most learning institutions in the UK are flooded with students from other countries. However, most of these students face challenges while trying to adjust to the new life in the UK.
This is brought about by the difference in culture and can result to culture shock. However, it is important for any student willing to study in the UK to study and understand the dimensions in culture and their applicability in the learning institution. The student is required to learn and adjust in some areas in the new learning environment.
Power Distance Dimension (PDD) – Power distance has been explained by Hofstede as sharing of power amongst the people in a certain community. Power can either be shared or dispersed equally or unequally. According to Hofstede, the power that is shared unequally in the society is a high power distance while the low power distance indicates equal power sharing (Hofstede 65).
Application: UK has been ranked as a low power distance with a belief that power should be distributed equally in the learning institutions. Students from a high power distance country like South Africa might find difficulties adjusting to this new trend. The role of students and teachers in decision making differs in both countries.
In South Africa, the teacher is the sole decision maker with little or no contribution at all from the student. The teachers possess particular powers that are unquestionable by the student. On the other hand, UK teachers respect the students’ role in decision making. Team work in UK is very essential hence the need to get everybody involved. On the other hand, students from Italy may easily adjust to the new system as their culture is ranked as a moderate power distance.
Individualism/Collectivism Dimension (ICD) – Interrelationship between people within a particular company differ in different cultures (Hofstede 148). A high individualism entails a culture which has a loose connection amongst its people. A low individualism on the other hand ensures that the members of the community are concerned about the well being of each other. This indicates a strong connection between the individuals of that particular community.
Application: UK culture conforms to high individualism. Students willing to study in the UK should learn to get most of their things done on their own. This is a culture that most students from Italy will find difficult to adjust to as their country is ranked as having low individualism.
Studying in the UK requires students to perform most duties on their own such as cooking, making personal arrangements and managing one’s resources. Students in the UK are expected to meet their own expenses and are therefore allowed to work part time. Students from South Africa who are used to government intervention will find it difficult conforming to this culture (Foskett and Foskett 57).
Uncertainty Avoidance Dimension (UAD) – Societies are likely to be faced with uncertainty over some issues that are beyond their reach (Hofstede 110). This leads them to come up with rules or beliefs to deal with such issues. The high uncertainty avoidance cultures have rules to govern them so as to avoid uncertain situations. The low uncertainty avoidance culture on the other hand has very few rules but highly tolerate any deviant issues.
Application: Students in the UK have been conformed to a culture of low uncertainty avoidance as compared to students in South Africa and Italy. Though there are no strict rules governing the students studying in UK, they are bound by some ethical issues. Time keeping and management is one of the key areas that a student should be aware of. Punctuality is highly regarded and a student should always be on time to attend lectures and other meetings within the learning institution.
Get your first paper with 15% OFF
Instructions pertaining assignments are strictly followed. Issues such as plagiarism and failure to reference the work as instructed can lead to serious consequences. The teachers also apply different assessment strategies such as essays, reports and main exams to gauge students’ capabilities. Students from other cultures such as South Africa might find these strategies different from what they are used to in their own countries.
Masculinity/Feminity Dimension (MFD) – Hofstede explained this dimension as the capability of both females and males to perform equally (Hofstede 148). In high masculinity, the men are expected to perform more than the females. They are said to be the providers and stronger than their female counterparts. An example of such a culture is experienced in South Africa. In low masculinity cultures, both men and women play an equal role in the society.
Application: The UK culture conforms to low masculinity where both the female and the male students are equal. Women in the UK are independent and play equal roles as their male counterparts. South African students studying in the UK might find this culture challenging and shocking and might take time adjusting.
The idea of studying in UK can be an intriguing experience to students of other cultures. However, they can be faced with cultural challenges hence the need to learn them beforehand. This will help them adjust to the new culture that they are facing in the new environment. Though it is considered normal to experience the culture shock, it is important for a foreign student to adapt to the UK culture so as to make their life comfortable.
Carter, Holly. The Essential Guide for Study Abroad in the United Kingdom. Maryland: Forbes Boulevard, 2004. Print.
Foskett, Nicholas and Foskett, Rosalind. Postgraduate Study in the UK: The International Student’s guide. London: Sage Publications, 2006. Print.
Hofstede, Geert. Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values. London: Sage Publications, 1984. Print.