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(a) Critical analysis of an existing initiative or
(b) Development of a practical initiative with conceptual rationale
The overall aim of this assignment is to give you an opportunity to explore more in depth a few salient concepts or issues related to cultural diversity in a context of special interest to you, and to demonstrate your capacity to engage in a critical conceptual examination of practical issues, in other words to demonstrate your capacity to link theory and practice.
For this assignment, you have the choice of format: (a) a critical analysis of an existing initiative or program related to cultural diversity issues in light of relevant literature, or (b) the development of a practical initiative or program related to cultural diversity issues with full conceptual rationale.
Regardless of your selected format, you must select first one of the following contexts for this assignment:
A range of concepts related to cultural diversity are examined in this unit, for example, expectations, socialisation, enculturation, belief systems, values, hybridity, third culture, stereotyping, prejudice, intercultural competence, culture learning, transformative experiences etc, to mention only a few
As mentioned above you should consult the resources listed in the section 'Special Interest Resources' at the end of this Learning Guide. Please browse through the material relevant to your chosen context to refine your topic, and select the resources that are most relevant to your assignment.
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In this paper, I would like to discuss the issues of cultural diversity in the context of study abroad experience from the point of view of the international students and their interaction with the locals. This paper would present a critical analysis of an existing program called 'Internationalising the Student Experience Project' in light of relevant literature in the concerned area. This project has been devised in Australia in the form of a teaching innovation to help the instructors as well as their domestic and international students by making them aware of the growing intercultural issues. Mak and Kennedy (2012) discuss that instructor preparation for the Excellence in Cultural Experiential Learning and Leadership, chiefly known as EXCELL, can be a basis for institutionalized support. They also throw light on the challenges and opportunities for internationalizing the curriculum for higher education.
Australia, as a major destination of international education, has witnessed a rapid increase in the last few years for international students. Its export income has almost doubled from 2004 to 2008, consequently, international education became Australia's top export service industry (Mak and Kennedy 2012: 323). Due to the rapid increase in migration, Australia's population is becoming diverse culturally and linguistically as well. The fact that it has included seven Asian countries according to the 2006 Australian census has made it challenging for the tertiary institutions. The higher education institutions are facing problems to make the international students as better as they can to survive in the international situations. At the same time, this is also a challenge for their domestic students for they need to prepare them with a diverse workforce and to provide them subtle professional services to be able to handle the issues of diversity on both national and international level.
Cultural diversity is at one place the exciting force of study abroad for a student who aspires to get an international education and multi-cultural background, on the other, it is a vital fear that entangles many of them to be successful in their motto. Some of the factors related to cultural diversity for example socialization, prejudice, cultural learning, intercultural competence, and academic expectations remain dominant in the mind of the international students. One remains afraid of his or her competence whether he or she could be able to meet the academic and social expectations or not. What would be the outcomes in such cases? In this paper, I would like to examine some of these concepts related to cultural diversity with relevant literature.
I would begin the paper with my experience that I have had a close friend. Imagine a situation where an Indian student gets admitted to a German University for higher education. As it is known, Germany is largely monolingual country and they are not warm in welcoming the new languages. Therefore one has to learn German to socialize there and to be able to become a part of the community. But if someone has reached there without prior knowledge of German, one should not expect her or him to speak German in a week or so. In contrary to this, my friend was asked 'how are you' in German by his flatmate just the day after he reached there. Everyone in the shared house knew that he had no background in German. So the question meant their expectation in very clear ways. It clearly shows the importance of the topic in today's world especially with respect to the international and migrated students.