Internationalization, No travel required...
The buzz in international education right now is "Internationalization at Home" or I@H for those who tweet. The challenge for I@H is to engage all our students in learning activities which consider the cultural aspects of constructing knowledge, working in an international and intercultural world and being citizens of a (better) planet. Here are some things to keep in mind as we continue to strengthen our efforts to internationalize the on-campus experience:
Think 'intercultural' not just 'international'. It's not just about other places it's about other ways of thinking. Intercultural skills can bring different perspectives to academic problem-solving not to mention preparing students for life in an increasingly intercultural world.
Encourage teaching styles that incorporate student experience into classroom learning. Many of our students grew up with other cultural traditions or have travelled extensively before landing at Guelph. Research shows that teaching techniques which bring that experience to the classroom help to provide a broader perspective to learning (Bond, 2003)
Use existing partners and technology to facilitate intercultural learning opportunities. For example, call upon your colleagues teaching similar courses at institutions abroad to connect your students for a little cross-cultural group work via internet
Design curriculum which assumes students will be functioning in a global workplace regardless of discipline. If you're in physics, gravity may be the same everywhere but chances are you'll still need to know how to work with counterparts in Germany or India or Brazil.
Don't assume the mere presence of international students will internationalize things. To gain an international perspective students need to interact but don't make the mistake of calling upon one international student to represent his or her entire culture, country or religion.