Next week, many colleges and universities will be celebrating International Education Week. Is your institution or organization doing anything special? If so, what? Would you classify any of it as being focused on intercultural learning? Why or why not?
What do you see as the relationship between international education and intercultural learning? Unsure? Do you see them as one and the same? Or is one the responsibility of student services, and the while the other falls within academic affairs?
I spent years working in the field of international education—first international student services and then study abroad. I pursued a PhD and “niched down” to focus on the process of developing intercultural competence through international education experiences (what I often refer to simply as “intercultural learning”). Now I focus on intercultural learning both inside and outside international education.
But I’ve noticed that there is very little conversation happening about the relationship between these two things—international educational exchange and intercultural learning. There are a lot of implicit assumptions, yes, but very little explicit exploration.
And so this International Education Week, I’d like to start a conversation on this topic. I’ll be offering a free live webinar on Thursday, November 21st, entitled, Rethinking International Education: Five Mindset Shifts to Foster Transformative Intercultural Learning.
Some things we’ll discuss in this webinar include:
✔ Why I’m challenging educators (myself included!) and institutions to rethink international education.
✔ The relationship between international education and intercultural learning.
✔ What we’re overly focused on regarding international education and where I think our attention should be instead.
✔ How you can play a part in fostering intercultural learning at your institution, no matter what your role.
I’d encourage you to watch the webinar with colleagues and schedule in time for reflection and group discussion afterward.
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