I'm not from here, help me! (Tips for international students)

Learning about your host country’s culture in the work force is a particularly transferable attribute for international students. Regardless of whether you pursue a career in Australia or your home country, knowing about another culture is invaluable — you will be able to settle in easier if you work here, or influence the foreign policy and exchange happening in your industry back home. However, your culture is important too, so try to encourage your supervisor to learn about your culture as well through your example. Some cultures have specific clothing such as headscarves or turbans that are worn at all times and some may have requirements about how food or drink is prepared and what food and drinks you can consume. There may even be non-verbal behaviour that is common back in your home country such as eye contact, facial expressions and hand gestures that are interpreted differently here in Australia. Employers are responsible for your wellbeing and should encourage tolerance and respect for your cultural differences. Encourage an openness and learning with your colleagues for a better workplace.

Language Barriers

You may have come to Australia without speaking much English, so entering the workplace may seem difficult. Don't be afraid to ask people to repeat what they have said. It is important to not just keep agreeing and saying "yes!" despite not understanding. Remember that it's not embarrasing to not understand; most people in Australia are happy to repeat what we've said because we do speak very fast, and many Australians have travelled and been in a situation where they're communicating in another language environment.

Top Tip
If you're struggling, maybe think about going to a peer-to-peer mentoring program to improve your English and get some practice.