University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
http://www.umn.edu/
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Training for
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Intercultural Workshops

The International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) Intercultural Workshop series combines intercultural competency and skills development workshops and "Culture In-Depth" sessions discussing the unique practices, customs, and values of some of the largest international student populations on our campus. Each session helps UMN staff members gain greater cultural self-awareness, an understanding of the contributions of international students, and communication skills to improve interactions and relationships with international students, staff, and faculty.

ISSS will be launching registration the Fall 2017 Intercultural Training Workshop Series soon. In the meantime, feel free to review the spring schedule so you can learn about the standard training sessions we offer.

January 24, 2:00-4:00 p.m.: Communicating with International Students

Presenter: Sheryl Holt, Department of Writing Studies
Location: University International Center, Room 101
This workshop is full, but you can add yourself to the Waitlist

When attempting to navigate new systems at the University of Minnesota, international students can be confused by the American approach to conversations, instructions, and explanations. Likewise, staff and faculty often wish they understood the cultural expectations, communication styles, and accents of international students. This interactive workshop will be your opportunity to share, learn, and practice actionable approaches to communicating and connecting with international students, staff, and faculty (including those who are working in their second, or even third or fourth, language).

At the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Appreciate why the English language is difficult to learn
  • Develop tactics on communicating effectively with English language learners
  • Deepen the impact of your communications by understanding the cultural expectations of international students

February 9, 9:00-11:00 a.m.: Culture In-Depth: Indian Students at the U of M

Presenter: Lalitha Urs, Department of Psychology
Location: Heller Hall, Room 1210
Register Now

There are over 100,000 students from India in the United States, including nearly 1,000 individuals studying at the University of Minnesota. While there is one country called India, the diversity that emerges from the 2nd most populous country on Earth is significant. This interactive workshop will be an introduction to important factors to consider when inviting, building trust, and working with Indian students.

At the end of this workshop, you will we able to:

  • Understand more about the Indian student experience
  • Identify specific Indian values that will help you build productive relationships
  • Develop an appreciation for a range of food restrictions students from India may face

February 21, 2:00-4:00 p.m.: Culture In-Depth: Chinese Students at the U of M

Presenter: Mingzhi Li, International Student and Scholar Services
Location: University International Center, Room 101
This workshop is full, but you can add yourself to the Waitlist

Like many other higher education institutions across the U.S., the University of Minnesota has seen a significant increase in the size of our Chinese student population over the last ten years. Approximately half of the international students at the University are from China, and these students bring unique experiences and curiosity to our campus.

During this workshop, a panel of Chinese students will share their personal stories about interactions on campus. From their discussion and other interactive exercises, you will learn about the academic choices Chinese students make and how unique aspects of Chinese culture (such as collectivism, face saving, and shame) impact the student experience. Walking away from this workshop, you will be better able to connect with Chinese students and help bring their talents and perspectives to the forefront in the classroom and student life.

At the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Understand the contextual factors influencing the Chinese student experience
  • Appreciate the cultural values that Chinese students bring, including collectivism, face saving, and shame
  • Develop a set of approaches that will increase your effectiveness with international students

March 7, 9:00-11:00 a.m.: Culture In-Depth: Korean Students at the U of M

Presenter: Min Hae Cho, College of Education & Human Development
Location: Heller Hall, Room 1210
Register Now - This workshop is almost full

There are more than 800 Korean international students and scholars studying and researching at the University of Minnesota. In this session, you will have an opportunity to learn how Korean values and unique cultural aspects affect the student experience, including emphasis on hierarchy, attending elementary or secondary school outside of Korea, and parental influence.

By listening to the personal stories of Korean students, you will be better able to understand, and potentially connect with, Korean colleagues, students, and employees. Furthermore, you will also learn details of mandatory military service for male students, so you can consider how you might adapt your services, programs, and mentoring for Korean internationals on campus.

At the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Understand the unique cultural aspects of the Korean student experience, including mandatory military service for male students, early study abroad experiences, and parental influence
  • Appreciate how cultural expectations influence their choices
  • Develop approaches to work better with Korean students including how to help Korean males plan for and return from military service

March 23, 9:00-11:00 a.m.: Becoming Aware of Your Own Culture

Presenter: Thorunn Bjarnadottir, International Student and Scholar Services
Location: Heller Hall, Room 1210
Register Now

In this interactive workshop, you will be challenged to uncover aspects of your own culture and how these shape your perception of the world. You will also learn to identify relevant cultural differences between yourself and others, making it easier for you to take actionable steps to create bridges between cultures throughout the University of Minnesota.

At the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Understand the cultural factors that influence your worldview
  • Appreciate how your own cultural identity shapes your interaction with international students, staff, and faculty
  • Create bridges between two differing worldviews

April 4, 2:00-4:00 p.m.: Bridging Cultural Differences

Presenter: Thorunn Bjarnadottir and Alex Cleberg, International Student and Scholar Services
Location: Northrop Auditorium, Founders Room
This workshop is full, but you can add yourself to the Waitlist

When interacting with those from around the world, an understanding of the relevant values of all participants will help to create positive connections. While it may be easy to adapt to obvious differences in eye contact or handshakes, it is more difficult to take actionable steps to address more hidden value differences, such as hierarchy or independence.

Participating in this experiential workshop will allow you to identify problems or opportunities that stem from cultural value differences. As a result of this identification, you will be able to effectively connect with students and colleagues from different cultural backgrounds.

At the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Identify important value differences that affect working and service relationships
  • Feel a deeper an appreciation of the significance cultural values play in building positive connections
  • Develop specific approaches to react appropriately to various value differences

For More Information

If you are interested in learning more, contact Thorunn Bjarnadottir, Director of Intercultural Education, at thorunnb@umn.edu.

GPS