Knowing your International Students: Building Intercultural Competence

International students bring unique and valuable perspectives to our classrooms, but there may be barriers that prevent them from fully engaging in class. Faculty assume that the students are well prepared and familiar with U.S. academic culture, but may be surprised to find some students having difficulty with participating in class discussions, group work, presentations, written assignments or other common features of the U.S. classroom. International students may assume that a TOEFL score and an admission letter are sufficient gateways to success, and they often come from educational systems that are quite different in many ways from those in the U.S.

This interactive workshop addressed these questions: What assumptions do we make about international students and what they know about academic culture in the U.S.? What assumptions and expectations do international students bring with them? What linguistic, cultural and social challenges do international students face in and out of the classroom? What resources and support are available for international students and faculty? How can we build our intercultural competence to better support international students?

Learning Outcomes: Participants became familiar with relevant issues and practices, and left with a better understanding of the international student experience and how to support them.

Active Learning Exercises: Responding to Role Play Scenarios/Video

Problem Posing: Case Studies

Brainstorm/Discuss in Groups: Enhancements to Your Current Practice

Presented by

Christina Gamiño (Driehaus)

Kathy Larson (ELA)


Download (PDF, 1.66MB)


Helping Foreign Students Speak Up


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