Last week I posted 4 things Aussie students can learn from Tanzanian students. Here are 4 things Tanzanian students can learn from Aussie students. You’ll notice they roughly correlate to last week’s points. More gross generalisations, of course.
- Your voice matters. While Tanzanian students have a wonderful sense of being involved in student politics, in the academic arena they are conditioned to pipe down. They may feel that reporting a lecturer’s negligence will endanger their marks, likewise for offering their own opinion in an essay. Thus, even if they have these skills (and many never develop them) they often feel that it is not worth expressing them.
- Social events increase connectedness. Some Tanzanian student groups are more like a church service than anything else, and leaders are sometimes bewildered by low commitment or members. Social events are not a big part of their life together and are seen as frivolous. When I mentioned to one student leader that social events are an essential part of Aussie student ministry, to help people feel like they belong to the group, she was blown away by this brilliant strategy!
- Use your relationships for witness. Tanzanian students’ are great at caring for one another, giving advice to one another and even praying for one another, but they’re less good at getting around to the ‘why’ of these things, that is, talking about Jesus and how he shapes our lives.
- The more you know your faith the more you can own it. It’s great to belong to a family, but unless you know the content of your faith, you’ll struggle to make it more than a Sunday thing. The emphasis on growing into your faith by knowing your Bible and doctrine in Aussie uni ministry does this brilliantly.
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.