This semester I’m really blessed with the cultural diversity of my students in the course: Development of Intercultural Skills. Despite a small number of students, they represent four continents: Asia, Australia, Europe and South America and seven different countries.
Some of them are freshly on the board of SUMAS (Sustainability Management School) in Gland.
My old „me”, with a low level of uncertainty tolerance and a self-destroying drive to perfectionism would say: „It’s a big challenge.”
My new „me” is constantly repeating the mantra: „Each progress takes place outside the comfort zone” (M. Bobak). It embraces the situation as an opportunity to grow together thanks to multiply discussions and group work.
Another component is students feedback helping to make the sessions more relevant to them still by conveying the needed knowledge to develop cultural intelligence.
Bearing in mind different learning preferences due to their personality, cultural background and generation I apply more frequently the format of peer learning. The students work in groups on separate readings, discuss them and share the leading ideas and their reflections with the rest of the class. It allows them to exchange their perspectives and experience, and in this way contributes to a true peer learning. It creates a safe, open and engaging environment for everybody. Also, their Professor who voluntarily shares own bluntest cultural faux pas!
This semester I’m really blessed with my students. And not only because of their cultural diversity…
P. S. Pssst! My students last semester were great too.