Introduction

There has been an influx of international students in the Australian universities (Government of South Australia, 2011). Given that most of these students come from different countries with diverse cultural backgrounds, it becomes inevitable that they have to face a lot of challenges in the course of their studies in this nation. One of the major challenges faced is diet. This means that when they come here, they find a new diet which may be strange to them. However, this leaves them with no choice rather that striving to adapt (Misner B, 2006).

The first thing they should do is to understand the feeding habits in this country. They are obliged to carry out an extensive research to find out the types of foods popular with the Australians. This will enable them to have a deeper understanding of these meals before coming up with the right decision on exactly what to do about it (Simon S, 2003). Making a right decision will be of a great benefit to them since it will give them an opportunity to choose what fits them. Hence, it can be possible for them to continue living a healthy life despite the change (Wojtaszek CA, et al. 2005).

However, before settling on such a decision, these international students should seek the support of dieticians. Since the universities are universal organizations which serve the interest of international communities, it is imperative that they employ full time dieticians (Woods M, et al. 2009). They should be given the responsibility to offer advisory services to the international students on the right type of food to adopt. Their services are necessary because they can be instrumental in guiding these students on the available diets in Australia. Moreover, they can use such opportunities to sensitize them on the foods which can be appropriate for their consumption (McMahon K & Brown JK, 2007).

This paper reports that the most recommended meal for these international students should be aimed at enabling them to continue leading a healthy life as they used to do before. In this consumerism society, people are fond of consuming meals which expose them to lots of health risks (Puckett R, 2004). In this regard, this review suggests that the chosen set of diet should be based on Atkins theory. Meaning, they should be encouraged to consume foods rich in limited contents of carbohydrates. This can be instrumental in protecting them from contracting dangerous diet related ailments such as diabetes and obesity. Moreover, a modification in the diet can be undertaken so that it can address the medical issues that presents with the intake of specific diets. There is need for international students to take artificial foods that have a high proportion of nutrients (Houtzager L, 2009). A proper diet will protect the students from nutritional related diseases.

To conclude this literature review, the students should ensure that they satisfy the recommended dietary intake targets as outlined by the dieticians. Besides, they should learn about all varieties of nutritional foods including their aroma, taste, appearance, food colour, and texture. Briefly, international students in Australia must ensure that they learn about Australian foods and quickly adapt to the diets so that they can continue living a healthy lifestyle. This will enable them to fit into this country and enjoy their studies without any problem.

Research objective and questionThe main objective of the research was to find out how well the foreign students adapt their nutritional needs to the food and the eating habits of the host country. To achieve this, the research aimed at getting an answer to the following questions

How well do foreign students adapt to the food types of the host country and does the food meet their expectations?

What kind of support are these students offered by the administration so as to be able to cope better?

MethodologyStudy design:Qualitative research is a technique of enquiring in-depth understanding of human behaviour in their social environment and the factors leading to such behaviour. This study used the Grounded Theory approach. This theory aims at shaping a certain desire which is discovered in social and psychological processes (Creswell, 2009). Moreover, this method comes with a number of merits such as development of new theories that will be accepted in the research when the research questions cannot be accurately answered. However, it also suffers from the following demerits; in that it requires a lot of labour as well as resources, the scope is also limited due to in-depth approach and it results to the procedural technicalities due to its subjectivity (Babbie, 2011).

This research aimed at studying how international students around Flinders University manage their nutritional needs. As an assistant director in the Ministry of Health and Nutrition, this is a research the researcher carried out as a requirement in his workplace.

Data collectionThe study adopted a one on one interview approach which enabled the researcher to probe deeper on answers that were vague. The researcher constructed an interview guide (Appendix 1) to help him in structuring the interview and collect data (Grbich, 1999). The interview guide was made with the objective of the research in mind so that it could collect data that was as relevant as possible. The questions were all open ended to aid the researcher get a variety of answers.

Pilot interviews were carried out among the peers of the researcher to aid in identifying areas that would present difficulties during the actual interviews and iron them out (Mantri, 2009)

Ethical issuesEthical implications regarding issues on privacy and confidentiality arose in the formulation of the study. Many students felt that the information they give when data is collected may be exposed with their identity and this makes many to decline being recruited as respondents. The respondents were therefore assured of the confidentiality of the data collected. A consent form was presented to the participants and they were required to sign it before any interviewing could be done. The study has received all applicable approvals from all relevant authorities (Appendix 2: Ethics form).

ParticipantsThe research involved participant sampling which involves use of a portion of the population to investigate the behaviour or the characteristics of the entire population (Creswell, 2009). This strategy assists in the cutting down on the time to be spent in the research process, energy, and financial resources. A more precise and efficient sampling strategy was the Stratified sampling where the population is divided into sub-sets of specific size and similar characteristics, where the subsets (or strata) make different quantities of the entire population. The use of sub-sets enhances comparisons and correlation to be made between them making the technique flexible in regard to geographical enquiries. (Kothari, 2008)

This sampling was carried out around restaurants and eating places around the university as these are convenient places to meet with target population of the research study.

Since a qualitative research involves more research input, this required recruiting a number of participants. The sub set was made of international students who are over 18 years old and who hang around the eating places. The participants were also required to be residing around the university and be willing to participate in the exercise.

References

Pribis; Pencak; Grajales. 2010. Beliefs and Attitudes toward Vegetarian Lifestyle across Generations. Nutrients; Volume 2; Issue 5; Pages 523-531. Molecular Diversity Preservation International. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu2050523.

Puckett R 2004, Food service manual for health care institutions, 3rd ed. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco CA.

Simon S, 2003, A survey of the nutritional adequacy of meals served and eaten by patients, Nursing Practice 2001, vol. 4, no. 2 , pp.7-11.

Wojtaszek CA, et al. 2005, Nutrition impact symptoms in the oncology patient, OncolIss, vol. 17, no. 1, pp.15-7.

Woods M, et al. 2009, Effect of a dietary intervention and n-3 fatty acid supplementation on measures of serum lipid and insulin sensitivity in persons with HIV, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 90, no. 6, pp.1566–78.

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