Engaging Across Cultures

A professional development series for international and domestic graduate and professional students at the University of Iowa

This program offered by International Student and Scholar Services extends the success of our Building Our Global Community series for staff and faculty by creating a special series tailored to graduate and professional students at the University of Iowa. Engaging Across Cultures is a non-academic, professional development certificate program that creates an opportunity for UI graduate and professional students to learn more about fostering an intercultural campus while honing skills that will carry into the future workplace. Content will include subject matter of interest for both domestic as well as international students. Participants will earn a certificate by completing a series of sessions (a required introductory session + 2 electives), which may also be included in a professional development section on a résumé or CV.


Through the introductory session and specialized sessions, participants in Engaging Across Cultures will learn:

  • skills to recognize their own culture(s) and how their cultural lens influences their interactions
  • techniques for developing and applying intercultural skills in academia, including in the classroom, lab, or research group
  • strategies to enhance intercultural communication and understand the needs of second language learners
  • skills to navigate cultural expectations in the job search process
  • strategies to utilize in the professional context outside higher education
  • information on specific countries/culture group

Core Session

Introduction to Engaging Across Cultures

Wednesday, February 9, 2022 | 3:30-4:45pm | Zoom

Instructors: Taivna Mills, International Services Associate, and Brandon Paulson, Assistant Director, International Student and Scholar Services

This introduction session will introduce the Engaging Across Cultures certificate program and share an overview of the international student population at the University of Iowa. Participants will have opportunity to learn about culture and the cultural adjustment experienced when living in a new culture. Participants will examine their own cultural lens and how it influences their interactions.

Participants in this session will learn:

  • skills to recognize their own culture(s) and how their cultural lens influences their interactions
  • changes occurring when living in a new culture and strategies to assist with the transition
  • strategies to enhance intercultural communication
     

Elective Sessions

Employment

Wednesday, February 23, 2022 | 3:00-4:00pm| Zoom

Instructors: Jennifer Teitle, Ph.D., Assistant Dean for Graduate Development and Postdoctoral Affairs of the Graduate College, Lisa Kelly, Ph.D., CIRTL Coordinator, Graduate College, and Brady Krien, Ph.D. Candidate in English and Graduate Careers & Fellowships Advisor

This session will help guide graduate and professional students to map out their career path after graduation. Facilitators will help tackle some concerns international graduate students might have regarding employment in the United States. Facilitators will assist participants to discover potential career interests and prepare for future employment.

Participants in this session will learn:

  • skills to navigate cultural expectations in the job search process
  • strategies to utilize in the professional context outside the University of Iowa
  • skills to prepare for applying for a job and prioritizing materials in job application
  • job interview strategies and techniques
  • strategies to effectively negotiate and communicate with potential employers
  • visa requirements and how to plan for applying for a different visa status    

Navigating Intercultural Conflicts

Wednesday, March 2 & 9, 2022| 4:00-5:00pm | Zoom

Instructors: Pauline Beazer James, Senior Advisor, International Student and Scholar Services; and Shuhui Lin, Coordinator of International Student Support and Engagement; International Student and Scholar Services/Multicultural & International Student Support & Engagement

In this session, you will have an opportunity to discover your culturally preferred approach or style of resolving conflict with the Intercultural Conflict Style Inventory developed by Dr. Mitchell Hammer. Being aware of your own cultural style, you will be better able to understand and adapt to the styles of others and work more effectively in intercultural settings.

Participants in this session will be able to:

  • identify their conflict communication style and preferred approach for navigating conflicts
  • recognize other conflict communication styles and how they might interact
  • discuss how this may be useful in your academics, work, and home life

Enhancing Your Intercultural Insight (Advanced)  

Wednesday, March 23, 2022 | 10:00am-12:00pm | Zoom

Instructors: Pauline Beazer James, Senior Advisor, International Student and Scholar Services; Shuhui Lin, Coordinator of International Student Support and Engagement; International Student and Scholar Services/Multicultural and International Student Support and Engagement; and Brandon Paulson, Assistant Director, International Student and Scholar Services
Cross-listed with Building Our Global Community

Designed for participants who have attended the Developing Your Intercultural Insight session and completed the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) at least one year ago. Participants in this advanced session will revisit the IDI by discussing real world applications. Participants should attend the session prepared for in-depth discussions about the IDI and its application. Participants will have the opportunity to complete the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) again and sign-up to attend a follow-up 1 hour meeting with a trained IDI facilitator to discuss their intercultural growth.

Participants who attend this session will be able to:

  • critically reflect on their intercultural experiences
  • find out where the IDI indicates you are on the intercultural growth continuum
  • identify opportunities for applying the IDI to practice

Developing Your Intercultural Insight

Monday, March 28 & April 4, 2022 | 3:30-5:00pm | Zoom

Instructors: Pauline Beazer James, Senior Advisor; Shuhui Lin, Coordinator of International Student Support and Engagement; International Student and Scholar Services/Multicultural & International Student Support & Engagement; and Brandon Paulson, Assistant Director, International Student and Scholar Services

In this two-part session, participants will learn about developing their intercultural insights by exploring the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). The IDI generates an individual profile of “worldview orientation to difference,” and is based on the research of Dr. Milton Bennett and Dr. Mitchell Hammer. Participants will need to complete the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) before the session. Participants will have an opportunity to sign-up and attend a follow-up 1 hour meeting with a trained IDI facilitator to receive feedback on their individual profile and discuss their individual development plan for intercultural growth.

Participants who attend this session will learn:

  • understand the intercultural growth continuum and the stages of intercultural development
  • find out where the IDI indicates they are on the intercultural growth continuum
  • develop a personal plan for their intercultural growth
  • understand others through intentional dialogue

Story Stitch

Friday, April 22, 2022 | 3:30-5:00pm | Zoom
Instructors: Pauline Beazer James, Senior Advisor, International Student and Scholar Services; Rudia W. Kihura, International Health, Safety & Security Advisor, Study Abroad; Brandon Paulson, Assistant Director, International Student and Scholar Services

In this interactive session, we will engage in the Story Stitch activity to learn about each other through the stories shared and conversations ignited. This activity involves splitting into groups with each member introducing themselves, and then the group taking turns answering story card questions with members having the opportunity to build on each other’s answers using the stitch cards. By engaging in this activity, we will learn more about the unique backgrounds of the group and become more connected.

Participants in this session will learn:

  • how storytelling can build trust, create group cohesion, and develop interpersonal connections
  • different perspectives and experiences
  • valuable tool to foster deeper conversations

Please email Brandon Paulson at brandon-paulson@uiowa.edu to be added to the waitlist. 

Participants may take sessions individually, without working toward a certificate. Successful fulfillment of Engaging Across Cultures requires completion of the introductory session and two elective sessions. Engaging Across Cultures is free of charge to participants and the program does not offer course credit for participating in it. Individuals who complete the professional development certificate program will receive a certificate and be recognized on the International Programs website.

Yuchen Liu
"Engaging Across Cultures' provided me a comfortable and open zone to share my experience related to learning, teaching, and life in Iowa as well as in the U.S. A. I appreciate this valuable opportunity provided by ISSS, allowing diverse communities to represent ourselves equally and present ourselves confidently. Also, all presenters and participants are respectful and friendly to each other, listening to others expectations and perspectives. It is worth to be mentioned that the shared ideas and experiences while brainstorming solutions is really interesting and helpful for further personal and professional development."
Yuchen Liu, Graduate College

Program Contact

Contact Brandon Paulson with questions about Engaging Across Cultures by email brandon-paulson@uiowa.edu or phone (319) 335-0335.

UI Accessibility Statement

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Brandon Paulson in advance at (319) 335-0335.