Cross-cultural learning increases students’ understanding of their own and cultures of others; it enhances one’s knowledge of the norms, values, and behaviors that exist in cultures. And it allows the student both to discern and communicate cultural differences with sensitivity and confidence. Thus, as a result of the cross-cultural training, sojourners are usually better adjusted to their new cultural milieu.
Cross-cultural learning informs every aspect of INTERLINK’s curriculum, services, and personal relationships. It has immediate impact on students’ positive adjustment to a new educational, social, and cultural environment. In general, it creates in students self-awareness, awareness about one’s own culture, and appreciation for cultural differences. The resulting self-efficacy frees students to share themselves in ways that demonstrate respect, assurance of one’s identity, and friendship.
As cross-cultural educators, INTERLINK faculty and staff are sensitive, alert, and adroit in response to the different cultural assumptions, expectations, needs, and surprises that confound a student’s encounter with a new culture. They, too, are eager, humble, and diligent in their own cross-cultural learning. To cultivate international education, INTERLINK engenders, encourages, and endorses cross-cultural learning in the classroom, on campus, and in our communities.