NAVIGATING CULTURAL DIFFERENCES
A (Virtual) Workshop for Educators
Intercultural competence can no longer be viewed as a ‘nice to have’ skill in our world. It is a ‘need to have.’
We all need to better understand and appreciate the complex cultural differences that exist in the world, and be able to engage effectively and appropriately across these differences.
That means our educational institutions need to get serious about fostering intercultural development. This work must include developing the intercultural competence of faculty, staff, and leaders, not just students.
If you are faculty or staff in higher education who would like to improve your ability to appropriately and effectively navigate cultural differences, and better support students from globally diverse backgrounds, the Navigating Cultural Differences (Virtual) Workshop is for you!
Is This You?
You’re an educator wanting to better navigate the cultural diversity on your campus or in your classrooms (face-to-face or virtually)
You work with study abroad, COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning), international exchanges or partnerships, or other programs that bring people together from around the world to learn with and from one another
How can we as educators effectively and appropriately work with and support students from a wide variety of backgrounds? And how can we successfully navigate these cross-cultural partnerships?
If you’re like most educators I work with, you appreciate and respect these cultural differences, but don’t always know how to navigate them as well as you’d like. You may worry about doing or saying the “wrong” thing or offending someone.
If any of this resonates, the Navigating Cultural Differences (Virtual) Workshop is for you!
Colleges and universities are rich with diversity. Our campuses and classrooms are made up of students of many different nationalities, ethnicities, races, religions, socio-economic statuses, gender identities, abilities, and other cultural backgrounds and life experiences.
But diversity is not enough. You don’t have to look far to see that just being in the vicinity of difference does not make someone more interculturally competent.
To ensure students feel seen and experience true belonging, and to solve the very real issues we face in society today, we need to develop the intercultural competence of our entire institutions and communities.
Most colleges and universities now have mission statements that include the development of intercultural competence, global citizenship, or similar. As a result, more faculty and staff are now also involved with study abroad, COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning), or other types of programs that involve intercultural engagement (face-to-face and virtual).
However, COVID-19 has put international exchange on hold for the time being, which requires us to get more intentional about fostering intercultural development. At the same time, in the United States, the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, to name just a few, underscore how necessary these skills are on the local level, not just when traveling abroad.
To effectively and appropriately navigate cultural differences at home and abroad, it’s important to understand that culture impacts everything we do. Where we come from (including our country of origin, ethnicity, socio-economic status, religion, gender identity, abilities, and so much more) influences things such as our communication preferences, how we interpret the world around us, and even our ideas about what a “good education” looks like.
It’s critical that we as educators not only understand where our students (and others we work with) are coming from and how their background and culture impact their experience at our institutions, but also for us to deepen our understanding of how our own cultures impact the way we approach our work and engage with our students.
Navigating Cultural Differences (Virtual) Workshops will help you better understand and navigate the cultural differences you encounter in your work, life, and community.
It will also help you reflect on and deepen your understanding of your own cultural background and how it has shaped—often implicitly—your work as an educator. You’ll learn to recognize when and how your own cultural lenses may impact your ability to support your students as effectively and appropriately as you’d like, and what you can do about it.
Over the course of two half-day sessions (three hours each), you’ll learn how to work more appropriately and effectively with students—as well as colleagues, parents, or other community members—from other cultural backgrounds.
Do NOT expect the following:
- to be able to multi-task or just “listen in”
- a recording to watch later
- a list of “how to’s” or “do’s and don’ts”
What you CAN expect instead:
- a highly-interactive training
- to participate, reflect, engage, and share with other impact-driven educators from around the world
- to focus on your OWN intercultural learning and growth (which WILL impact how you engage with students and others)
As a result of participating in this workshop, you will:
gain a deeper understanding of concepts such as culture and intercultural competence, and how these impact you, your work, and your students
increase awareness and understanding of your own characteristic ways of making meaning and acting in familiar and unfamiliar contexts, particularly in your role as an educator
increase awareness and understanding of how people from different cultural backgrounds may make meaning and act in familiar and unfamiliar contexts
become familiar with the importance of responding mindfully in contexts that disorient or challenge us, and learn strategies/processes to help you do so
learn tools and processes that can help you begin to bridge cultural differences you may experience in your work as an educator
There are multiple sessions of Navigating Cultural Differences (Virtual) Workshop to choose from, at different dates and times. Each session takes place over two days, and is three hours in length each day (six hours total). You are expected to attend both days.
Workshops are conducted via Zoom. They are highly interactive, involving full- and small-group discussions, as well as independent reflection and partnered work.
Prior to your scheduled session, you’ll receive a PDF with training materials, which you’ll complete during the workshop.
Each session is limited to a maximum of 24 participants. It’s expected that these workshops will fill quickly, so please register for your preferred dates/times as soon as possible to ensure yourself a spot!
Meet Your Facilitator
Hi! I’m Tara Harvey. I've worked in or around higher education for more than 20 years, specifically the areas of international education and intercultural learning. From teaching English abroad, to advising international students, working in study abroad, designing intercultural curricula, and facilitating intercultural trainings and courses, I’ve worked in a wide variety of administrative and teaching capacities in higher education.
However, prior to that, I grew up in a relatively homogeneous community in the Midwest, where most people were culturally very similar to me. Going away to college was really the first significant opportunity I had to engage with people from different cultural backgrounds. It was also during college that I got my first passport, when I decided to spend my junior year abroad in Spain. Those experiences were incredibly impactful on me and my future.
I’ve since lived, worked, and traveled abroad much more, and made a career of helping people navigate cultural differences (I'm also in a bicultural marriage). To do so, I’ve had to first and foremost focus on developing my own intercultural competence (and continue to do so). I can say from experience that these are inextricably linked—we cannot help others effectively learn and grow from intercultural experiences if we’re not actively and intentionally working on our own intercultural development, no matter how much international or cross-cultural experience we may have.
That’s why I’m passionate about helping you learn to more effectively and appropriately navigate cultural differences as an educator. I understand the context you’re working in, and will not make you feel judged for what you don’t know.
In my opinion, developing our intercultural competence is an ongoing process. It can be challenging, but also highly rewarding. I’d like to support and empower you with tools to help you on your intercultural learning journey.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I register?
How big are the workshops?
Will there be a recording available?
Is a there a group rate?
What if none of the dates/times listed work for me?
How does Navigating Cultural Differences differ from the Facilitating Intercultural Learning program?
How does Navigating Cultural Differences compare to other intercultural courses or trainings?
What’s the cancellation policy?
I don't work in higher education. Will the material be relevant to me?
Cost of the Workshop
The investment for the two-day workshop is $197/person. This includes all workshop materials/handouts.
Interested in a private cohort for your institution?
Interested in a private cohort of the Navigating Cultural Differences Workshop for a group of faculty and/or staff from your institution at a time that's convenient for you?
Contact True North Intercultural for more information.