Tag Archives: Reno

Relocating to the United States?

usa

Oftentimes, people new to a city struggle with adjusting to the unfamiliar resources, laws, language, school systems, transportation, etc.  In fact, if a person is from another country and/or doesn’t speak English, it can be a challenge doing daily tasks such as laundry, buying groceries, going to the doctor, or even mailing something at the post office.

To make relocation and transition easier, HLSL Institute offers a guided City Day Tour that teaches people how to relocate and transition into a new U.S. city faster and safer so they can live happier and healthier as members of their community. With a trained local Relocation Expert, clients visit local businesses, restaurants, schools, grocery stores, banks, recreational services, transportation centers, language services, etc. so that they learn the insider’s knowledge about the city’s resources, history, laws, traditions, calendar events, seasonal weather, political systems, and spiritual and intellectual resources.  No need to worry about transportation, the Relocation Expert is qualified to drive clients in our BMW X5 SUV’s regardless of rain, snow, or sunny conditions.

The 5-hour City Day Tour beginning at 10:00 am includes a delicious lunch at a downtown restaurant and a city guidebook with relocation tips including networking groups and contacts, transportation resources, local coupons and discounts, information about when and where to go for seasonal events and fun activities, and helpful online resources and videos.

Save yourself lots of time and money by learning everything you need in only one amazingly fun and educational tour instead of weeks or even months.  We look forward to welcoming you to your new home.  For more information visit HLSL Institute or request more information about the tours at http://hlslinstitute.org/contact-hlsl/

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Filed under HLSL Institute, U.S. Culture

University of Nevada Students Learned U.S. Culture & Student Success Skills

UNR New  Int'l Student Workshop (Fall, 2014)

UNR New Int’l Student Workshop (Fall, 2014)

After two days teaching at the University of Nevada, new international student survey data indicates that workshop attendees gained cultural knowledge about the northern Nevada culture and skills to navigate the UNR campus.  Furthermore, these students (new to the U.S.) reported an increase in ability to use local campus and community resources for study, socialization and networking, communication skills, professional development, transportation and living needs.  The skills-based workshops were designed to develop specific competencies to bridge cultural gaps and encourage student success through state-depended learning activities. 

Pic V picpic III

Prior to this workshop, almost all new international students reported having no prior U.S. cultural training for living or studying in U.S. systems.  This is why I’m even MORE EXCITED to teach pre-departure U.S. cultural lessons on my 2014 International Education Tour in Seoul, South Korea, Shanghai, China, and Beijing, China this fall!  In addition to the upcoming tour’s instructional workshops and presentations, I will be visiting schools, volunteering as a language and culture teacher, networking with administrators and local businesses, representing Nevada institutions at study abroad fairs, and participating in interviews and making guest speaker appearances.  The tour’s research data will provide insight into how almost six weeks of pre-departure educational events will help prepare international students for U.S. study, how new international partnerships can be developed, and how Nevada college and university outreach, recruitment, and retention efforts may be strengthened. pic IV

 

If all cultural workshops and seminars on the tour are half as fun and effective as the University of Nevada’s were, I’m in for an excitingly wonderful adventure teaching abroad.  One and half weeks to go. Seoul, here I come!  pic II

 

Dr. Tara Madden-Dent teaches U.S. cultural workshops and consults for a variety of international educational programs. Contact HLSL Institute to request more information regarding cultural workshops, program evaluations, international representation, or guest speaker invitations.   

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Filed under Higher Education, International Education

Video Interview: Greek International Student

Thank to my UNR student, Ariel for her wonderful final project interviewing Stelios Papafloratos. The transition into a new culture can be very challenging. Stelios introduces us to his cross-cultural experience.

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Filed under Higher Education, International Education

My Interview with TeachingTraveling.com about HLSL Insitute

How fun is it to participate with Lillie Marshall (@WorldLillie) on www.TeachingTraveling.com?!!  It’s a blast!

As a featured guest, my interview discusses how I can teach from anywhere while expanding How Leaders Should Lead Institute. We discuss how HLSL Institute helps people from all around the world, how educators can become more culturally competent, and introduces cultural education.

Check out A Job Teaching International Students About American Culture to read the interview and share your thoughts.

As an international educator and University Instructor, I’m thrilled to be a part of the diverse global dialog about culture and education.

 HLSL Institute Featured Article

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What is Cultural Competence?

A student of mine shared a link to the State of Washington’s Superintendent of Public Instruction website during a discussion about cultural competence.
The website shared the following definition of what cultural competence is and what it is not.

“…cultural competence goes beyond memorizing a checklist of surface-level customs and cultural differences.
Cultural competence allows educators to ask questions about their practice in order to successfully teach students who come from different cultural backgrounds.

Developing skills in cultural competence is like learning a language, a sport or an instrument. The learner must learn, re-learn, continuously practice, and develop in an environment of constant change. Cultures and individuals are dynamic — they constantly adapt and evolve.

Cultural competence is:

•Knowing the community where the school is located.
•Understanding all people have a unique world view.
•Using curriculum that is respectful of and relevant to the cultures represented in its student body.
•Being alert to the ways that culture affects who we are.
•Placing the locus of responsibility on the professional and the institution.
•Examining systems, structures, policies and practices for their impact on all students and families.

Cultural competence is not:

•Good intentions.
•Cultural celebrations at designated times of the year, in designated ways.
•Kumbaya diversity.
•A list of stereotypes about what people from a particular cultural group do.
•Assumptions that all students from one culture operate in similar ways and have had similar experiences.
•The responsibility of children, their parents or the community.
•Color-blindness (treating everybody the same).
•Simple tolerance.”

As future educators and school administrators, we need to identify how intercultural and cross-cultural competence influences teacher preparation, student development, curriculum design, and educational policy.

“As educators, we want the best for students and seek ways to meet the needs of all learners in our classrooms. We sometimes find that this requires skills and knowledge far above and beyond the content area we are teaching…
Cultural competence provides a set of skills that professionals need in order to improve practice to serve all students and communicate effectively with their families. These skills enable the educator to build on the cultural and language qualities that young people bring to the classroom rather than viewing those qualities as deficits.

Cultural competence training asks educators to confront the stereotypes held both consciously and unconsciously about students. Bias affects the way that we perceive and teach students and has the potential to negatively affect student achievement.

Teachers who aspire to become more culturally competent can build relationships based on trust with students and their families, even though they experience the world in different ways. This is essential to closing academic achievement gaps and to fulfilling all students’ civil right to a quality education.”

My students are primarily future teachers and administrators. Read the comment section of “Cultural Studies & International Education” for a very interesting dialog about how they perceive the roll of multicultural, intercultural, and cross-cultural K12 education.  Other resources are introduced such as a great video: Why We Need Multicultural Education and a helpful webpage: Building Culturally Competent Organizations.

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International Student Interview: Cross-Cultural Adaptation (Bangkok, Thailand)

I’d like to thank my student Dana Moreno for her excellent final project: International Student Interview.  I would also like to thank Chavisa for sharing her story with us.  Because of their hard work, we have access to the cross-cultural experiences of a UNR international student from Bangkok, Thailand.  I hope that this helps students coming to America as well as educators in America better prepare for study abroad’s challenges and rewards.

Many of Chavisa’s cross-cultural adaptation and transitional challenges are shared among international students.  The following key points are from the video:

  • Cross-Cultural Challenges: Language and family separation.  She coped with language challenges by practicing with friends/teammates in addition to watching movies, listening to music, writing, and getting involved with activities to use the English language often.  She had made more friends by getting involved with sports.  Being separated from family can be very challenging but she used social media to stay in touch.   (Skype and Facebook).
  • When Chavisa came to the U.S., she knew people here which is helpful.  She also had experience in Australia which helped prepare her for life in the U.S.
  • She likes the U.S. culture, educational system, and diversity of people here
  • Study Abroad Rewards: Increases professional development, confidence, knowledge/experience, open-mindedness.  Builds friendships, language skills, cultural competencies, international experience.

To provide more stories about study abroad in America, I will post a new international student interview from a different country each week for the few weeks. Check out previous interviews with Jiao Jiao from Beijing, China or Nikki from Vietnam. Hope you find this helpful and please comment if you do.  Thanks.

Also, HLSL Institute is a helpful resource for international students, travelers, expatriates and expatriate families coming to the U.S.    Check it out if you want help with cultural transition, language, transportation, and acculturation development.

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International Student Interview: Cross-Cultural Adaptation (Vietnam)

I’d like to thank my student Shirin Abboud for her excellent final project: International Student Interview.  I would also like to thank  Nhi (Nikki) Vuong for sharing her story with us.  Because of their hard work, we have access to the cross-cultural experiences of a UNR international student from Vietnam.  I hope that this helps students coming to America as well as educators in America better prepare for study abroad’s challenges and rewards.

Many of Nikki’s cross-cultural adaptation and transitional challenges are shared among international students.  The following key points are from the video:

  • Cross-Cultural Challenges: Language, making friends, and family separation.  She coped with language challenges by practicing with friends/teammates in addition to watching movies, writing, asking questions, and getting involved with activities to use the English language often.  She made friends by being more outgoing and getting involved with sports.  Being separated from family can be very challenging but Nikki uses social media to stay in touch.
  • Nikki came to the U.S. with her immediate family so knowing someone here is helpful but it means that there are more cross-cultural complexities that come with more people transitioning into the U.S. culture.
  • She likes the U.S. culture/friendly people/diversity
  • Study Abroad Rewards: Increases confidence, knowledge/experience, open-mindedness.  Builds friendships, language skills, cultural competencies, international experience.

To provide more stories about study abroad in America, I will post a new international student interview from a different country each week for the three weeks. Check out last week’s interview with Jiao Jiao from Beijing, China. Hope you find this helpful and please comment if you do.  Thanks.

Also, HLSL Institute is a helpful resource for international students, travelers, expatriates and expatriate families coming to the U.S.    Check it out if you want help with cultural transition, language, transportation, and acculturation development.

2 Comments

Filed under Higher Education, International Education