From day one, I doubted if Twitter was a good place for me to be. Day four and I am involved in a massive argument. Because I’m wasting time on an idiot. This is how it started:
Tweet: University of Canberra journalist school passes ‘fail’ students http://bit.ly/IW7LAl
(enter article, insinuating foreigners cheat their way through the Australian education system). Another tweet commenting on this article:ok, now put your journalistic investigationing skills to work, on imported doctors v’s home grown
and then Signe got pissed off. I now know I should have just turned off Twitter. Instead I wrote and hence the argument began:
Signe: I’m from overseas, done my masters here, now my PhD. Do you want to challenge my ability?
Tweet: Good for you (oh the condescending nerve)
Signe: and, so far, good for Australia! Continue to make everyone believe foreigners are incompetent cheats and we leave
And on the argument goes. I have sent my last post on the matter, a condescending return of “Well, good for you” (I couldn’t help myself). But people, it hit a nerve! A really sensitive one, which I am fiercely annoyed with: the general discussion that educated foreigners are not qualified for Australian standards. It can be one of two things. Either our education back home is not good enough OR we cheated our way through uni, because we all know that people with a non-english language background buy exam results, have other people sit exams in their name and only make it through because we are a money machine for the university.
Well, I didn’t! And I don’t know anyone else who did! I and my fellow foreign students worked our arses off to learn your language and learn it well enough to write an Honours thesis that would qualify us to do a PhD. Between my Masters and PhD I worked 4 years paying taxes to your country with no right to claim anything. I am not covered by medicare and never have been. I am forced to pay for an insanely expensive medical insurance which gives me almost the same cover as medicare, but not entirely. If I don’t, I get kicked out of the country. I cannot get social welfare. If I had become unemployed while working, I would have been kicked out of the country. That is how a 457 visa (sponsorship) works. My Masters cost me $50.000 all together. Right down in your coffers.
And then I get it (and you have no idea how many times I have heard this): “But we are not talking about you.” Because I am white. I am from Europe. I am not a doctor from India. Well pardon me for clearing this up: the only difference between me and the doctor from India is the colour of our skin. We have gone through the same visa application process, taken the same exams, applied the rules of the same system.
So when you talk about the cheating foreign students, you ARE talking about me. And I challenge you. Anyone who has lived the experience will. Push me, and I will challenge you further: then I will call the racism card.