How can study abroad professionals bring our perspective - which particularly values the opportunities presented by discomfort, ambiguity, and struggle in developing intercultural skills - to helping today’s young adults develop the resilience and independence that past generations were given the opportunity to learn at a much younger age?
Our colleagues at The Irish Council for Overseas Students (ICOS), an independent, national membership-based organisation that advocates for the rights of international students who choose Ireland as a study destination, have developed a training resource called "Diverse Voices," comprising a video and guide for higher education professionals working with international students in Ireland. The video looks wonderful. It is composed of short, thematic sections exploring topics such as cross-cultural adaptation, culture shock and homesickness; cultural difference and cross cultural communication; adapting to a new academic environment (including language, intercultural classroom, approaches to assessment); and advice on supporting international students. ICOS interviewed over 35 international students and staff (both academics and support staff) from five higher education institutions as part of the video project. It includes a genuinely diverse range of participants.
The resource pack is being made available free-of-charge to ICOS member institutions and also is available for purchase – see www.icosirl.ie.