Welcome to True North Intercultural, owned and operated by Tara Harvey, Ph.D. Intercultural experiences offer amazing opportunities for learning and growth. Through such encounters with difference, we can learn about and from other perspectives, and also learn a great deal about ourselves. Based on research, literature, and my own experience, I know this type of learning and growth happens most effectively when facilitated, rather than left to chance. I have spent more than a decade researching intercultural development, developing curriculum meant to facilitate students’ intercultural learning through an international experience (from pre-departure through re-entry), and training and coaching educators in intercultural pedagogy. I bring this experience, knowledge, and passion to my work helping fellow educators and educational institutions further intercultural learning and development.
I am an educator and life-long learner at heart. I am passionate about helping people learn and grow through international and intercultural experiences.
I have been in the international education field since 2000—teaching English in Spain, advising international students in the United States (at Texas A&M University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison), and working in study abroad. Since approximately 2006, I have focused on how intercultural competence is developed and how educators can help facilitate that process. My dissertation—a mixed-methods case study of an intercultural seminar taught during a semester-long study abroad experience—looked not only at the outcomes of such an intervention, but was the first of its kind to examine the complex process of facilitating intercultural development. At the University of Minnesota, I taught two innovative intercultural courses. The first—which began as Maximizing Study Abroad and later became Global Identity—was an online course for students studying abroad. The second, entitled Communication and the Intercultural Re-Entry, was for students who had recently had a significant intercultural experience (and included study abroad returnees, refugees, first- and second-generation immigrants, and a veteran).
As Academic Director of Intercultural Learning at CIEE (the Council on International Educational Exchange)—a world leader in international education and exchange—I was responsible for developing the intercultural curricula for their diverse study abroad programs. I created CIEE’s signature course, Intercultural Communication and Leadership, now offered at more than 20 study centers around the world. Under my leadership, CIEE also integrated intercultural learning frameworks into more than half of the semester-long programs (in order to reach all students, not just those who opt to take a three-credit intercultural course), summer programs, and many short-term customized programs. In addition to designing curriculum, I provided training, coaching, and support for the resident staff around the world teaching these initiatives.
I began True North Intercultural because I believe I can have a positive impact helping educators and educational institutions learn how to more effectively facilitate students’ intercultural learning and growth. In addition to my consulting work, I present widely on relevant topics at international education and intercultural conferences, and am an Adjunct Faculty in Intercultural Competence at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey, and an Associate Faculty at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC).
I am an experienced Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), one of the most well-known and widely-used tools for assessing and building intercultural competence. In addition, I am a Senior Facilitator of the Personal Leadership methodology, a holistic approach to maximizing the learning potential inherent in intercultural experiences, improving one’s ability to work across cultural difference, and taking leadership of oneself.
On a more personal note, I am married to a Spaniard, whom I met while studying abroad my junior year in Seville, Spain (study abroad truly does change lives!). Together we are navigating the complex waters of trying to raise our two children to be bilingual (as well as multicultural). We feel very fortunate to live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area of Minnesota, with its strong emphasis on international education and language immersion programs.
Because I believe that in learning through our intercultural experiences, we are doing much more than learning how to interact with culturally different others (a valuable goal in and of itself, of course). These experiences also offer us opportunities to learn and grow as human beings. They offer us opportunities to get in touch with who we are, to identify our deeply held values and beliefs. My goal is to help people engage in intercultural learning experiences in a way that helps them discover and live in stronger alignment with their own personal values and beliefs—in other words, to follow their own “true north”—while working effectively, appropriately, and creatively with people who hold different values and beliefs. And I strive to help fellow educators incorporate this type of student development into their own work.
Harvey, T.A. (2017). Design and pedagogy for transformative intercultural learning. In B. Kappler Mikk & I. Steglitz (Eds.), Learning across cultures: Locally and globally. Washington, D.C.: NAFSA: Association of International Educators/Stylus.
Paige, R.M., Harvey, T.A., & McCleary, K.S. (2012). The Maximizing Study Abroad Project: Toward a pedagogy for culture and language learning. In M. Vande Berg, R.M. Paige, & K.H. Lou (Eds.), Student learning abroad: What our students are learning, what they're not, and what we can do about it. Sterling, VA: Stylus.
Harvey, T.A. (2013). Facilitating intercultural development during study abroad: A case study of CIEE’s Seminar on Living and Learning Abroad. Unpublished dissertation, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.
Harvey, T.A. (July 2015 & 2016). The expanding role of mindfulness in intercultural teaching and learning. Evening session at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication, Portland, OR.
Harvey, T.A., Bull, W. & Abarbanel, J. (November 4, 2015). Resilience 2020: An integrated approach to wellness, safety, and intercultural learning. Full-day workshop presented at CIEE Conference, Berlin, Germany.
Vande Berg, M. & Harvey, T.A. (March 25, 2015). Principles and practices for intercultural education: A community approach to individual and institutional transformation. Full-day workshop presented at the Forum on Education Abroad Conference, New Orleans, LA.
Harvey, T.A. & Anderson, C. (February 6, 2015). A community approach: Overcoming resistance and taking intercultural interventions beyond curricular solutions. Presented at Wake Forest’s Workshop on Intercultural Skills Enhancement (WISE), Winston-Salem, NC.
Morrison, K., Maxwell, E. Titus, B.J., Wang, J. & Harvey, T.A. (November 19, 2014). Engaging diverse identities to promote intercultural competence. Full-day workshop presented at CIEE Conference, Baltimore, MD.
Harvey, T.A., Menyhart, C., & Ndiaye, S. (November 21, 2014). Intercultural learning from the inside out: Supporting faculty, staff and student development. Presented at CIEE Conference, Baltimore, MD.
Harvey, T.A. (February 7, 2014). The effective facilitation of student intercultural development abroad: Key findings and implications of recent research. Presented at Wake Forest’s Workshop on Intercultural Skills Enhancement (WISE), Winston-Salem, NC.
Ph.D., Comparative and International Development Education
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
M.A., Journalism & Mass Communication
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
M.A., International Relations
Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset, Madrid, Spain
B.S., Communication Studies
Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Junior Year Abroad at Universidad de Sevilla, Seville, Spain
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