Intercultural Experiences Essay

Intercultural Experiences Essay-43
Those studying languages often encounter issues of intercultural communication.Key areas of knowledge for those wanting to improve their intercultural communication are: Good intercultural communication fundamentally requires intercultural awareness, an understanding that different cultures have different standards and norms.

Those studying languages often encounter issues of intercultural communication.

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“Intercultural education” emphasizes learning that occurs when persons of different cultural backgrounds interact. Institutions of all stripes have established learning outcomes in order to align curriculum and co-curricular programming with mission and vision.

Further explanation of these and related terms is discussed in the 2007 ACE report “Internationally focused student learning outcomes articulate specific knowledge and skills to be addressed in courses and activities outside the classroom and provide over-arching goals for academic and co-curricular programming.” (ACE 2012) Developing and measuring student learning outcomes is increasingly a core activity of U. Many accrediting bodies now require institutions to measure progress toward student learning outcomes.

The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment suggests guidelines for learning outcomes and maintains a clearinghouse of articles and examples at the organization’s website.

In addition, NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (Resources at NASPA) (Assessment and Evaluation information from NASPA) and the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) provide resources specifically for co-curricular student learning outcomes.

The co-curriculum, relative to other aspects of comprehensive internationalization, presents distinct challenges: Despite these challenges, focusing internationalization efforts on the co-curriculum is essential for the kind of deep, transformational learning that international education promises.

While students may sit for 12–18 hours per week in the classroom, the remainder of their time (particularly for residential students) is spent on campus interacting with peers, accessing services, and attending student events.

The experiential nature of the co-curriculum—where students encounter cultural “others,” navigate shared space, learn to manage conflict, calibrate their moral compasses, and test their leadership skills—can offer some of the richest opportunities for students to encounter cultural differences that test their beliefs and assumptions.

This installment of "An internationalized curriculum and co-curriculum ensure that all students, including those who do not have the opportunity to study abroad, are exposed to international perspectives and can build global competence.” (American Council on Education 2012) As the United States becomes increasingly diverse and globally connected, higher education provides a laboratory for students to test the values, beliefs, skills, attitudes, and behaviors that will shape their lifelong participation in a democratic society.

Therefore, the responsibility “to prepare people for a globalized world,” cited in ACE’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Global Engagement report, , is increasingly borne by educators on campus.

Ideally, a co-curriculum should align with institution-wide learning outcomes, mission, and strategic goals.


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