After Raghuram Sukumar, founder of happyschools.com, and I discussed international student preparation and the importance of cultural competency in today’s competitive global economy, we began an introductory interview. I describe my work, life career, and motivational tips below so that readers may better understand why I serve in my educational capacity and how I plan to use my research-driven instructional pedagogies around the world to prepare international students for successful U.S. studies. Thank you Raghuram for your dedicated and valuable work in our increasingly popular field. I look forward to working with you to help international students become healthier, happier, and more successful in the U.S.
Dr. Tara Madden-Dent
- Name – Tara Madden-Dent
- Occupation – President & International Speaker at HLSL Institute (How Leaders Should Lead Institute)
- Life Purpose – To teach my research and knowledge with others so they may have a higher quality of life in the United States.
- Location – Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA
- Best Place Visited – Lake Tahoe, Nevada (That’s why I choose to live here)
- What kind of books do you read? — Culture, travel, spiritual, entrepreneur, and language books
- Your Blog – www.taramaddendent.com
What is your 1 Year Goal?
I will offer my classes and workbooks to those studying, working, and living in the United States as I teach on my “2014 International Education Tour” in China and South Korea this August, September, and October.
What is your 2 Year Goal?
I will travel to India in 2015 to teach workshops to prepare those planning to study, work, and live in the U.S. so they can learn the “10 most effective cultural strategies to transition and adjust in U.S. colleges, universities, and work environments”.
What is your 5 Year Goal?
Expand my educational services into other countries to help as many people as possible around the world prepare for study, work, or life abroad.
What do you like most about your work today?
The clients (i.e. students, expatriates, their families). They are wonderful people who enrich my life and make me a better person. We become life-long friends.
What do you hate the most about your work today?
The hurtful stories I hear from new international clients (i.e. students, expatriates, their families) who don’t know how to get help and suffer from intense culture shock. I got my Ph.D. to stop those stories.
What is your dream job?
My current job. Teaching about successful relocation strategies to achieve academic, professional, and personal goals in the U.S. is the most rewarding job I could have since I see the positive benefits in my students’ lives.
What is your dream salary?
Enough money to support annual travel so I can learn about other cultures. It’s easier to combine work and play by teaching around the world. An example of this is in the featured online article.
How do you stay motivated?
I thank God for the blessings and people in my life. Even when life is difficult, there is always good in the world and when I appreciate and acknowledge those positive blessings, I feel joy. The joy turns to hope, and hope turns into strength, and the strength allows me to continue sharing my unique values to others.
What is the Best advice you have ever received?
The best advice came in the form of a question, “Why are you alive and what is your contribution to the world?” I knew then, I would contribute love through education.
When would you say you are successful in life?
I am successful when I see others applying my research and teachings to their lives or when they tell me they feel happier, healthier, and more successful because of me. That’s when I feel successful.
Any other suggestion, tips for HSB readers?
Regardless of language, color, gender, or nationality, one universal energy connects us. Let’s learn from each other and create better connections through education.
Most Memorable moments in your life.
The most memorable moment in my life is the day I got married in Rome to my amazing husband who also has an unquenchable thirst for travel and learning.
Cross Cultural Competence
Cultural competence can be understood as: An evolving capacity to interact and communicate with others having different cultural backgrounds built on foundations of cultural awareness, sensitivity, knowledge, and skills.
A person’s cultural competence determines their ability to navigate within a new culture.
Cultural competence is a set of skills needed for effective communication and collaboration amongst people from various backgrounds. It is essential to closing academic achievement gaps, creating quality education systems, being competitive in the 21st century job market, creating sustainable environments and global allies.
The good news is, cultural competencies can be learned. Culturally trained international students, expatriates, and their families can experience more successful academic, professional, and personal lives in the Unites States.