Study abroad and the Development of Intercultural Maturity

Source: Journal of International Education in Business | Image Credit: AOK

A study was recently conducted in the hopes of determining whether or not international students were able to increase their intercultural maturity during a short-term study abroad program. The program lasted nine days but data received from the student participants was promising.

The travel abroad students were observed to have successfully improved their interpersonal, intrapersonal and cognitive skills within the limited time of their programs suggesting that study abroad programs can increase the development of intercultural maturity.

The Importance of Cross-Cultural Communication

Source: Aishwarya Sadasivan, Study International

International students who study abroad in Canada, or in any foreign country, should be mindful of remaining respectful and unbiased when interacting with people that have backgrounds different from their own. Developing a sense of appreciation of other cultures allows students to better cope with culture shock and view the world from alternative perspectives. Overseas students who actively try to improve their communication skills are also said to be able to better understand and express themselves to others.

Culturally Diverse Campus Tours

Canada Campus Visits allows prospective international students the chance to better their cross-cultural communication skills through our campus tours. Students from around the world take part in our tours and over the course of 10 days together have the chance to experience a new country, share stories and build lasting friendships with one another.

How International Students Interact on Campus

Sources: Fast Company, Study International

Colleges and universities are more than just places to study. They act as places for students to network and establish some of the most important relationships of their lives. However new research shows that many students are failing to venture outside of their cultural circles or away from others who share their field of study. While foreign students are likely to interact with others who come from countries overseas, only a small percentage of them were seen to socialize with domestic students. This is unfortunate because one of the best ways to learn about a new country is by getting to know the locals.

Higher learning institutions should to put a greater emphasis on groups and activities that encourage diversity among their students. Overseas students must also put forth an effort to build relationships with students from different academic and cultural backgrounds. By getting to know each other, we all gain a better understanding of the world and can truly claim that diversity is our strength.

Untold Secrets of Study Abroad

Source: College Tourist

While studying overseas can seem like the adventure of a lifetime, it may not always be as fun as it looks online. A recent article examined five common challenges faced by students spending time in foreign countries.

Your Adventure, Their Way: Everyone will have an opinion on how best you should travel. From where you are staying to what you should be going to see during your free time. There isn’t one way to do things and at the end of the day, you need to experience your new environment in whatever way makes you feel most comfortable.

There’s No Place Like Home: There’s always the possibility that even after your initial campus visit, the institution where you choose to study may not feel like the best fit. No matter what, you should try your hardest to make the best of your time there. The international experience you gain while abroad will benefit you in the long run.

Doing It For the ‘Gram: Your time spent traveling may not always come off as glamorous as it does on the social networks of your friends. Your adventure is unique to you and you don’t need to constantly be comparing it to what you see others doing.

Living for Likes: Not everything you do needs to be documented on social media. It’s important to step away from your mobile device and actually experience your new surroundings. Your loved ones back home will probably want to hear stories from your trip more than they want a link to your online photo album.

Relationships Are Complicated, As Usual: Whether you’re trying to maintain a long-distance relationship or meet someone new overseas, dating is hard. Manage your expectations and be honest with what you want from your significant other. To our knowledge, most travel insurance packages don’t cover broken hearts.

How to Maintain a Long-Distance Relationship While You Study Abroad

Source: Study International

Studying in a foreign country can be one the the greatest adventures you ever experience. If you’re in a relationship with someone you care deeply about though, the journey may not be an easy one if you’re going alone. Long-distance relationships are often believed to be stressful for all parties involved but they aren’t impossible to manage. Here are a few keys to surviving your study abroad experience with your relationship intact.

While it’s hard leaving those that you care about, you might feel worse if you skipped your trip abroad entirely. International experience can change your life and missing an opportunity of such magnitude would be unfortunate.

Patience and communication are key. Social media makes it possible to stay in touch with people back home but issues like time zones and Wi-Fi connectivity can get in the way. You have to be patient and understand that even when your schedules do align, things may not always go according to plan.

When you get the time to talk, don’t hold back what you’re feeling. If school is difficult or you’re having a hard time adjusting to your new environment, share that. Be prepared to listen to their feelings as well. You’ll both have good days and bad days and being with each other throughout each is important.

Over-sharing can be an issue if you aren’t careful. Saying “good morning” and “good night” is one thing but continuously clutching your mobile device in an attempt to stay in touch can come off as clingy. Remember that you’re on an international adventure and your significant other most likely wants you to experience it to the fullest.

While seemingly daunting, long-distance relationships can improve communication skills and teach independence. As long as you both aren’t afraid to put in the required effort to make it work, a long-distance relationship is another test you can pass while you study abroad.