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‘A Stranger in a Strange Land’* Issues and Challenges in crossing academic and cultural borders * Title of Book by Heinlein, Robert (1961) Heather Bigelow.

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Presentation on theme: "‘A Stranger in a Strange Land’* Issues and Challenges in crossing academic and cultural borders * Title of Book by Heinlein, Robert (1961) Heather Bigelow."— Presentation transcript:

1 ‘A Stranger in a Strange Land’* Issues and Challenges in crossing academic and cultural borders * Title of Book by Heinlein, Robert (1961) Heather Bigelow Consultant – Cross Cultural Issues RMIT Business Portfolio (Registered Psychologist). Telephone:

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3 Phases of Adjustment Phase 1 –  Excitement

4 Initial Adjustment Issues  Accommodation  Transport system  Language  Orientation/Transition

5 Phases of Adjustment Phase 2 –  Confusion

6 ‘Things are not the same here’!  Different teaching and learning expectations  Different work place expectations  Financial issues  ‘Life skills’ – ‘housekeeping’, nutrition, etc.  ‘Culture/Learning Shock’

7 ‘Why do you do/see things that way?’  What are the ‘rules’ here?  What do you mean you don’t give the best jobs to family members?  “There is no ‘respect’ here!

8 Phases of Adjustment Phase 3 – *Anger – Anxiety ‘Chicken Soup’

9 “This is the worst idea I’ve ever had!”  “I just want to go home/quit”.  Loss of ‘self’ – the familiar  Family pressures to succeed  Personal/developmental issues  Everyone else is coping – except me!  Medical problems  Psychological problems for some

10 Phases of Adjustment Phase 4 –  Self-assurance

11 “I think I can……”  Understanding academic requirements  Making friends  “It was still better back home but I will complete this semester”

12 Phases of Adjustment Phase 5 –  Understanding of, and ability to function in, a variety of settings.

13 Additional difficulties  ‘Loss of face’ – failure  Pressure to complete in minimum time – from family (financial?) and DIAC  ‘Co-op’ – finding suitable employment

14 Phases of Adjustment A ‘sixth’ phase of adjustment – that of returning ‘home’ – has also been proposed. Phase 6 – kcohS eurtluC esreveR

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17 Phases of Adjustment ‘Culture Shock’ Identifying Features 1. CUE Problem – a feeling that the ‘rules have changed’ – don’t know what’s expected! 2. VALUE Discrepancies – old, familiar ways no longer valid.

18 ‘Culture Shock’  3.EMOTIONALITY – feeling bad without knowing why.  4.ISOLATION – no-one understands – avoid contact.

19 ‘Culture Shock’  5.HOMESICKNESS – a feeling of being well adjusted before (in country of origin). Does not help now!  6.PERFORMANCE – sense of alienation will never go away.

20 ‘Culture Shock’  ‘Culture Shock’ also applies to –  Job changes  Marriage  Divorce  Poverty  Wealth  Unemployment

21 Internationalising the Curriculum  Different value systems  ‘Right’ and ‘wrong’ ways to success  Training students to work internationally

22 Developing Cross Cultural Competence  3 steps to developing cross cultural competence –  (a)Awareness of one’s own attitudes, values, beliefs and cultural assumptions, including personal biases and stereotypes.

23 CCC 2  (b)Knowledge –  Gained through interactions with culturally different students, teachers, partner, parent(s), community, employer, employee, organisation.  Learn the history, religious practices, beliefs important to the ‘other’, societal organisations, cultural ‘rules’ under which the ‘other’ operates.

24 CCC 3  (C)Skill –  Develop a ‘global mind’  Learn to act sensitively and appropriately in the presence of culturally different ‘other’, in formal and informal, work or study-related situations. Source: Pedersen, P. (1994)

25 Discussion Questions  How is my course ‘internationalised’?  Is there something different I can add?  What might my ‘ideal’ internationalised course(s) look like?  How can I use my own experiences and those of colleagues and students to move more toward my ideal?

26 ‘Why’ would this not work here?’ Use knowledge and experience of students of all nations  Case studies from other cultures  ‘Peer pairing’ – ‘local’ and ‘international’ students on assignments  Study abroad, student exchange, study tours, travel

27 ‘Everyone wants the same things’ “Culture Shock’ originates from the belief that everyone is the same” Hur and Hur (1988, p.196) Culture Shock! Korea.

28 Don’t they? “All people are the same … It’s only their habits that are so different!” Confucius (Kung Fu Tse)

29 Cross-Cultural Exploration “All cross-cultural exploration begins with the experience of being lost.” Hall, Edward T. (cited in Bond, Michael Harris (1991, p.v).


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