Preparing for the return of international students and helping them succeed

While borders have been closed for over a year now and VET providers have been unable to host international students in that time, there is hope on the horizon for students using RTO materials. The global vaccine rollout is underway, there’s talk of travel bubbles and case numbers are steadily declining around the world. We may see international students return in 2021, and certainly in 2022.

When that happens, it will have been after a long period of isolation in one’s country of origin. Many international students may find it difficult to adjust to both education and workplaces in Australia, if coming from vastly different cultures. 

RTO Works has recently developed a non-accredited Business English course to help your future international students integrate into Australian workplaces and classrooms, and thrive in their business and education pursuits. 

Understanding cultural differences in business

For your students, succeeding in VET or a job is about more than just their capabilities. They must also be able to recognise culturally-based social cues and interact with trainers, classmates, colleagues, bosses and customers appropriately. What this means can vary significantly from country to country. 

For example, hierarchy is important in China. Addressing your manager or teacher using the same language that you’d use to address a fellow team member is very poor etiquette. In Australia, however, you’re likely to find that the opposite is true! Australians also tend to be very frank and honest, while people from India are often not comfortable speaking so directly.

One of the biggest challenges for international students is fitting in with Australian culture. 

Offering a Business English course

The Business English course from RTO Works aims to equip your students from diverse backgrounds or lower English comprehension with a strong understanding of Australians’ professional sensibilities. This will allow them to naturally accommodate learning and working expectations in Australia. 

Split into five lessons over 16 hours, Business English guides students through:

  • Common idiomatic expressions, phrasal verbs and slang
  • Formal and casual communication styles that suit Australian workplaces
  • Best practice for job applications, interviewing and presenting effectively
  • Appropriate email and phone etiquette for a wide variety of situations

We’ve developed this course to ensure that your students actively contemplate and compare their lived-in cultural experience to what’s common in Australia. This helps them recognise subtle (and not-so-subtle) differences, which reduces culture shock and helps them to acclimatise.

Business English contains the easy-to-use and detailed resources that you’d expect from RTO Works, such as a Trainer Guide and Session Plans. It also includes at least one hour of practical activity each lesson – to ensure that students know how to engage in the learning space, secure work and comfortably mesh with locals. 

Offering this additional course for your students improves their chances at succeeding in their studies and finding employment in Australia. It can also be a powerful value-add for prospective students, to encourage them to choose your institution over another RTO. 

What are you doing to prepare for the return of international students to your RTO? 

Contact RTO Works to learn more about a Business English course and improve your student outcomes.