Cross-Cultural Learning

Domestic - Read information and click on the link where indicated.

International - Read all information and click on the link below.


A major goal of all off-campus study programs is to provide students with the opportunity to develop skills of cultural awareness and sensitivity. This is a life-long learning process that an individual begins when they first engage people and ideas that are different from their own background and experience.

The site you have chosen for your off-campus study program, either domestic or abroad, provides the experiential component to engage the other in substantive and meaningful ways. However, this does not happen automatically. Individuals have to be intentional and focused in their attempts to become more aware of and sensitive to the host culture.

Considerable effort is involved in learning how to read another culture and reach a deeper understanding of the societies and individuals with whom you will interact. Full preparation for this aspect of your off-campus program would require a bit of reading and self-reflection to adequately prepare and immerse yourself in the host culture. We realize that this may not be possible for you, so we have included web sites below that offer an interactive introduction to the issues involved in developing cultural competency. We strongly recommend that you take the time to read the material and do the exercises available on these web sites. For those of you on domestic programs, you are not required to access this web site, but we encourage you to enter this site to familiarize yourself with issues you may encounter in domestic locations with different cultures.

One of the names you will come across in this process is Milton Bennett. Mr. Bennett was instrumental in developing the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS). This model examines the continuum that individuals experience as they move from an ethnocentric (monocultural perspective) world view to an enthnorelative perspective. As individuals move along this continuum, they may experience the denial of difference between themselves and others, a defensive posture relative to those who are different from themselves, a desire to minimize the differences between themselves and others, an acceptance of the differences leading often to the adaptation to differences and finally a successful merging of themselves and the others that reflects cultural awareness and sensitivity.

As you work through the following website you need to consciously analyze your own thoughts and feelings regarding the others in your life. This part of the orientation will take approximately one hour and 15 minutes. You only need to access and complete sections #1.2, #1.3, #1.4, #1.6, and #1.7 in Module #1. (Do not do #1.1 or #1.5.) Please do not go beyond Module # 1. You will discover in section #1.2.1 a section labled "The Iceberg". Please note that the interactive first section of this is not operative. Continue on to the rest of the page following "The Iceberg" exercise.

Please access the following websites:

http://www3.uop.edu/SIS/culture/index.htm

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