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Extract 1 from Bridging our Worlds

From Arriving, sequence 3: culture shock

Section 1: Arriving
Topics: Expectations, First impressions, Culture shock, Orientation
Extract from "Note to trainers"

The 'Arriving' section focuses on the initial impressions and disorientations experienced by international students. It highlights both the positive and less positive experiences, the surprises and the curiosities students encounter in their early days. Trainers may choose to use: just one or two clips, all four topic sequences or any combination of them.

It is suitable for use with all staff since an appreciation of the process and impact of adaptation and transition is essential for anyone who encounters international students in their work setting. The clips demonstrate the range of student expectations and reactions, some of which may be familiar and predictable, others unexpected and perhaps irritating or challenging to established assumptions.

The clips can be used to generate ideas about provision for orientation and longer-term provision for international students.

Extract from "Questions that can be asked"

  • What was familiar to you and what surprised you?
  • How closely does this reflect the experience of students in your institution? What are the similarities and differences eg rural and urban institutions, campus and dispersed institutions?
  • Using the students’ comments, what provision would be relevant to smoothing the process of student adjustment in your institution?

Extract from "Exercise 1. Questions and reflections arising from Introductory sequence and Arriving", Topic: Culture shock

“One of the things I did find to be quite shocking at first was the use of bad language”.
  • What are your comments/responses to this?

Supplementary exercises from Working with International Students

  1. Critical incident – Mohammed (p192)
  2. The impact of arrival (p120)
  3. Models of cross-cultural adaptation (p99)
  4. Public and private (relates to concepts of ‘politeness’) (p156)

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