University of Iowa

Engaging Across Cultures

Engaging Across Cultures Logo

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

Schedule

Culture in the Classroom

Wednesday, September 19, 2018 | 11:30am-1:30pm | 1117 UCC

 

Description:

International and domestic teaching assistants are invited to attend an informal open discussion on experiences and issues you encounter surrounding “culture in the classroom.”  Whether you are an international T.A. teaching predominantly U.S. students, or a domestic T.A. with international students in your classroom, culture-based expectations, behaviors, and methods can often take many of us by surprise.  Why are some of your students not doing things you expect?  What expectations do you think your students have of you as their instructor?  What do you do when you feel language proficiency is an issue for one of your students?  What techniques have you tried using to address cultural differences in the classroom?  Both new as well as veteran teaching assistants are invited to share ideas and experiences while brainstorming solutions.  Staff from offices including International Student and Scholar Services, English as a Second Language, and the Graduate College will also be present.  A lunch with vegetarian/vegan options will be served.

 

 

Introduction to Engaging Across Cultures

Friday, September 28, 2018 | 11:30am-1:30pm | 1117 UCC

Instructors: Lee Seedorff, Senior Associate Director of International Student and Scholar Services; Brandon Paulson, Senior Advisor; and Taivna Mills, International Services Associate, International Programs

 

Description:

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 will also take part in an interactive activity demonstrating the challenges of being a second language learner.

 

Participants who attend 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 and understand the needs of second language learners

 

Culture in Academia

Friday, October 12, 2018 | 11:00am-1:00pm | 1117 UCC

Instructor: Sunny Ho, M.A., Ed.M., Fourth year doctoral student in Counseling Psychology program at the University of Iowa, Graduate Assistant for Graduate College

 

Description:

The workshop will create an opportunity for graduate and professional students to learn more about fostering an intercultural campus at their colleges and departments while honing skills that will carry into the future workplace. Content will include subject matter of interest which help graduate and professional students better navigate in academic settings. 

 

Participants who attend this session will learn:

  • skills to recognize their own culture (s) and how their cultural lens influences their interactions
  • skills to identify colleagues’ characteristics and working styles to foster effective communication
  • 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
  • strategies to advocate for themselves in different professional settings

 

 

Academic ESL: Facilitating Student Success      

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 | 11:30am-1:30pm | 1117 UCC

Instructors: Maureen Burke, Director; Jeffrey Knowling, Assistant Director; and Melissa Meisterheim, Assistant Director, ESL Programs

 

Description:

Through courses designed not only to improve international students’ language proficiency, but also their understanding of US culture and the US classroom, ESL Programs supports student success.  This session will discuss English as a Second Language (ESL) at the University with a focus on the undergraduate population that ESL serves.  The presenters will describe how ESL eases the transition from a student’s home country to the US.  The presentation will illustrate how ESL at Iowa has evolved and what knowledge and training teachers need to best serve their students’ needs.  Finally, the presenters will provide ideas and strategies to help reduce communication breakdowns with individuals whose first language is not English.  

 

 Participants who attend this session will learn:

  • what ESL is and its role on campus
  • the challenges international students face - not only language issues but also academic and cultural issues
  • to recognize the differences in language and cultural backgrounds and appreciate teaching and learning challenges
  • to identify and apply strategies for improving communication with those who are not first language speakers of English

 

 

Culture in the Classroom

Thursday, November 1, 2018 | 11:30am-1:30pm | 1117 UCC

 

Description:

International and domestic teaching assistants are invited to attend an informal open discussion on experiences and issues you encounter surrounding “culture in the classroom.”  Whether you are an international T.A. teaching predominantly U.S. students, or a domestic T.A. with international students in your classroom, culture-based expectations, behaviors, and methods can often take many of us by surprise.  Why are some of your students not doing things you expect?  What expectations do you think your students have of you as their instructor?  What do you do when you feel language proficiency is an issue for one of your students?  What techniques have you tried using to address cultural differences in the classroom?  Both new as well as veteran teaching assistants are invited to share ideas and experiences while brainstorming solutions.  Staff from offices including International Student and Scholar Services, English as a Second Language, and the Graduate College will also be present.  A lunch with vegetarian/vegan options will be served.

 

 

Developing Your Intercultural Insight

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 | 11:30am-1:30pm | 1117 UCC

Instructors: Lee Seedorff, Senior Associate Director of International Student and Scholar Services; Shuhui Lin, Coordinator of International Student Support and Engagement; International Student and Scholar Services/Center for Student Involvement and Leadership; and Brandon Paulson, Senior Advisor, International Student and Scholar Services

 

Description:

In this 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 45 minute 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:

  • how to describe the intercultural growth continuum and the stages of intercultural development
  • where the IDI indicates they are on the intercultural growth continuum
  • how to develop a personal plan for their intercultural growth to be able to work more effectively across cultures

Register Here

A waitlist is available for sessions with full enrollment, please email 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.

Claire Muerdter, College of Engineering

"Research is a global enterprise. This certificate gave me knowledge about how my and my colleagues' backgrounds influence our interactions, and how we can all work together more effectively."

Dan Holthaus, College of Nursing

"This program enabled me to not only learn about other cultures but also to delve into my own culture and beliefs."

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.