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SELT Professional Development Event
Working with International Students
8:00 – 8:30
8:30 – 9:00
9:00 – 9:30
International Students Present
Staff Exercise and Stages of
Acclimation to a new culture
9:30 – 10:00 Q & A
Student Presenters
Sean Bowers – SJU Student, Northern Ireland
Leigh Cabral – CSB Student, Trinidad and Tobago
An Doan – CSB Student, Vietnam
Savo Heleta – SJU Student, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Herbert Rodriguez – SJU Student, Costa Rica
Complete the form you have
been given and follow these
1. Write from right to left
2. Write very clearly. Sloppy
writing will be discarded
3. Fill in every blank
4. For #2, use the Moslem
calendar, which begins
July 16, A.D. 622.
5. Do not answer #7 unless you
have a green and-white-card.
6. Complete this task within
three minutes
7. Ask no questions
The Five Stages of Culture
Honeymoon Period.
The term culture shock is
a term that is often used
to refer to the adjustment
process that occurs when
a student goes to live in a
foreign country. Upon
arrival, the student feels
happy and interested
learning about the new
country and language.
This is called the
honeymoon period.
Culture Shock
After the honeymoon period, things begin
to get more stressful. The student will
begin to feel the absence of familiar
friends, places, language and family. The
student will often become extremely critical
of the new culture and may need to ask for
help to do many simple things that the
student could do very easily and quickly at
home. The student usually feels very
frustrated at small inconveniences and will
often shun friends from the host country.
This period is what is usually referred to as
culture shock because of the frustration
and the effect that this period has one the
individual’s psychological and physical
well-being. During this stage, individuals
will tend to feel unhappy or depressed and
get sick more easily.
First Adjustment
The next stage is first
adjustment. This is
when a student can take
care of daily needs such
as shopping for food,
getting mail, going to the
bank, and so on. Life
becomes easier.
However, the individual
stills feels lonely and
isolated from family and
friends which can be very
Mental Isolation.
Mental isolation. The time
period for this stage is very
unpredictable. Some
students move through this
stage quickly, while others,
sadly, can be at this stage
for years or never leave it.
The people who stay at this
stage have no desire to
learn anything about their
new culture or the people
from their host country.
Acceptance and Integration.
If all goes well, the student
who is adjusting to a new
culture will move out of
isolation and into the final
stage of cultural adjustment –
acceptance and integration.
The student will set up a
schedule for doing work or
study; make friends from the
new culture and show an
interest in learning even more
about the host country,
beyond what is needed to
Culture Bumps
"A culture bump occurs when a person has expectations of a
particular behavior and gets something different when interacting
with individuals from another culture." Expectations, as used in the
definition, refer to the expectations of “normal” behavior as learned
in one’s own culture.
While living in another culture, we find some things that are the same
as in our own country. In these instances, the two cultures fit
together. However, there are other things that are different. The
points at which the two cultures differ or "bump into each other" are
usually the areas that interfere in the development of successful
cross-cultural relationships. If the specific points of difference, or
culture bumps, are analyzed, they can lead to a deeper
understanding. If they are not analyzed, they can lead to
stereotypes of people in the other culture.
Keys to Good Communication in
Working with International Students
Strive to pronounce students’ names correctly
Learn about the students background/country and culture
Respect personal space
Learn the cultural rules about touching
Establish rapport
Ask Questions
Listen to the Answers
Appreciate and use silence “pause time”
Notice eye contact
Pay attention to body movements
Note responses
Don’t be afraid to say “No”, “Could you please repeat that”, or “Could
you talk slower, I am having a hard time understanding your accent”
Country/Culture information
 Culture Bumps definition
 Intercultural Communication conclusions
 Common Adjustment Issues for
International Students
Thank you for your time!
Lynda Fish, Academic Advisor,
International Students
Addy Spitzer, Interim International Student
Program Director
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