With COVID-related restrictions, students were not able to participate in international study travel. International and intercultural dialogue is an important skill to enrich any education, and students benefit from engaging in meaningful experiences with people of different backgrounds. During the Pandemic, online options like those facilitated by ZOOM have been vital – and Global Circles is a new opportunity for IU East students to connect with peers abroad.
The program is free and only a two week commitment, with half of the time spent live and half in asynchronous communication. Dr. Julien Simon is the faculty advisor for the program, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Topics are structured and related to student life and global issues (particularly the impact of COVID).
In addition to learning how to communicate effectively and respectfully with people of different backgrounds through a program like Global Circles, the library offers many tools and resources to help develop intercultural skills.
For example, the Passport series of guidebooks from World Trade Press, such as Passport France: Your Pocket Guide to French Business, Customs and Etiquette by Nadine Joseph, can prepare you to engage with someone of another culture. Books in the series include dozens of countries, including Japan, Argentina, Singapore, Israel, South Africa, or Italy.
Ethnic and area studies databases can be particularly good for this type of research, if there is one keyed to the culture you are interested in, although most general databases include a wealth of information, as well. For multimedia, the AVON database includes documentaries and instructional videos.
International communication is a broad topic, and the library offers many books that explore facets of it. Some examples include Culture, Communication and Cyberspace: Rethinking Technical Communication for International Online Environments by Kirk St. Amant, Intercultural Experience and Education by Geof Alred, Intercultural Communications by Samuel Gyasi Obeng, How Different are We? Spoken Discourse in Intercultural Communication by Helen Fitzgerald, Intercultural Dialogue in Practice: Managing Value Judgment through Foreign Language Education by Stephanie Ann Houghton, Mapping the Broad Field of Multicultural and Intercultural Education Worldwide: Towards the Development of a New Citizen by Nektaria Palaiologou, and Conversations of Intercultural Couples by Kellie Goncalves.
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