Cross-Cultural Programs for Schools, TAFEs, and Universities
Why cross-cultural skills training for educational institutions with international students?
Many Australian schools, TAFEs and universities are now taking up the opportunity to host international students for varying periods of time. On the surface, this appears to be a very attractive proposition both for the additional resources that the international students bring into the school budgets, and also for the opportunities to raise awareness of cultural and linguistic diversity for the entire school community in this increasingly globalised world. Unfortunately, because of the existence of significant cultural differences between Anglo-Australian culture and many of the international student cultures, and because of the significant linguistic factors operating for both the international and local students, things don’t always turn out as predicted or desired. It is easy for international students to become isolated and to not connect in a personal way with local students. It is easy for negative perceptions to develop between the local and the international students. This is not a problem peculiar to Australia. Wherever there are multicultural student bodies, these problems occur. There are, however, many ways to improve the chances of each international student program becoming a cross-cultural success story. Starting with a deeper awareness of the characteristics of Anglo-Australian culture and the ways that this culture differs from the specific cultures of the international students, and then identifying the challenges of second language acquisition that the international students are facing plus the challenges of culture shock that the international students are experiencing, Margaret Boprnhorst can then provide specific techniques for creating an environment in which friendship and cross-cultural learning can thrive.