Tag Archives: U.S. Study Abroad

Webinar: Discussing a Research Study about Study Abroad and Pre-departure Preparation for Internatioanl Students

Pre-departure Preparation of East Asian Students for U.S. Academic & Cultural Challenges

In our twenty-first century’s IT learning environment, how can we prepare international students for U.S. study before they arrive in the States?

This is the topic I will be discussing during Wednesday’s webinar entitled Developing Cultural Competence at the College and University Level hosted by the Berlitz Training Management Corporation on June 17 (7:00 am PST).

webinar
By helping international students develop better expectations of what they will experience during their first year at a U.S. campus, we can help them better manage cross-cultural adjustment challenges so they function as healthy and happy students whose English and social skills continuously develop as they succeed academically and  professionally.

Join the webinar and learn about how online cultural training is applied in U.S. universities.  Hope to see you Wednesday online.  ~ Tara

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Filed under Higher Education, International Education

Shanghai Ocean University Workshop at Sierra Nevada College

The excitement for this fall’s 2014 International Education Tour has now intensified after I taught international students from Shanghai Ocean University at Sierra Nevada College.  These students are visiting Nevada, USA for three weeks to get a feel for the U.S. educational system and learn professional development skills.

合影 Group Shot

For two hours, I had the pleasure of teaching these students for their first U.S. college class.  The lesson focused on entrepreneurial strategies to brand themselves or a product using social media platforms (AKA: Social Business).  The cross-cultural instruction and learning was accomplished through student surveys, reflections, lecture, demonstration, and activities.  Although language was an initial concern, the international students surpassed all expectation and showcased amazing talent to adapt to the U.S. learning style and apply their new knowledge in small group activities.  It was a lot of fun!

Dr. Dent Team D Dr.Dent Team Work

As an international speaker, I’ve developed curriculum for Eastern Asian students to learn cultural knowledge and skills so they can adjust faster during their transition into the U.S. culture and succeed in U.S. classrooms.  I look forward to traveling to China this fall (after a 16 day stop in South Korea) to teach U.S. college success skills and cultural competencies.  I invite other Shanghai and Beijing schools to contact me via Twitter (@DrTaraMDent) or in the comment section below to collaborate while I’m visiting abroad.
Here is one example of an upcoming U.S. College Student Success seminar held in Seoul, South Korean on Sept. 15:

Study in the U.S.A.

Study in the U.S.A.

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Filed under Higher Education, International Education

Happyschools.com Featured “My Work, My Life Series” with Dr. Madden-Dent

Cross Cultural Competence is More Important Than Ever with Dr.Tara Madden-Dent

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.

 

tara madden dent

Dr. Tara Madden-Dent

Personal

  • 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

 

Career

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.

Motivation

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.

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Filed under International Education, U.S. Culture

International Teaching Interview: TeachingTraveling.com features HLSL Insitute

TeachingTraveling.com features HLSL Insitute

Lillie Marshall (@WorldLillie), creator of www.TeachingTraveling.com interviewed Tara Madden-Dent about HLSL Institute.

The interview discussed how How Leaders Should Lead Institute teachers can work from anywhere and how HLSL Institute helps international students succeed during U.S. study abroad. The interview identifies how HLSL Institute helps people from all around the world, how educators can become more culturally competent, and how it provides cultural education.

To read the interview, read it below or visit A Job Teaching International Students About American Culture.

Tara Madden-Dent, an international educator and University Instructor, has a passion to stimulate a global dialog about culture and education.

The article:

Tara at the University of Nevada's Child Development Classroom.

Teaching Traveling: Welcome to Tara Madden-Dent, founder of the HLSL Institute: an innovative program to help international students transition into U.S. culture. 

TT: Tara, tell us about your background:.

Tara: It’s a relatively short commute from home in Lake Tahoe to work at the University of Nevada. I’ve taught undergraduate and graduate students “Education and Society”, “Nevada School Law”, & “Children and Families in Multiethnic Societies”. I love what I do, especially when it deals with cultural studies. My Ph.D. is almost finished which specializes in international education and cross-cultural adaptation. That’s why I expanded my profession to include HLSL Institute: a hybrid teaching program instructing international students (from around the world) how to transition into the U.S. culture. I get to teach from anywhere.

International student introducing an American Ambassador to friends back home.

(right) International student introducing an American Ambassador to friends back home.

TT: Tell us more about your world exploration. 

Tara: Although I’ve traveled to many countries for pleasure and professional reasons, an interesting aspect of my current role at HLSL Institute is that I can experience a variety of cultures from anywhere. For example, I’m currently teaching or working with South Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese students in their home country because of technology. When they arrive in the U.S, we can continue working online or also face-to-face.

How cool is it that I get paid to teach about U.S. culture to people from around the world while they teach me about their culture? Often times we become great friends and now have places to stay when we do travel internationally. Is there a better job than that?

Tara in Jamaica: Working from the sandy beaches of Negril.

(right) Tara in Jamaica: Working from the sandy beaches of Negril.

TT: Amazing! How did you find this opportunity?

Tara: HLSL Institute is my creation. After years of research, the need for it was too great to overlook. I now watch American Ambassadors (my teachers) transforming our students’ lives as they transition into the U.S. culture. My international students and expatriates (including their families) now seek me out because the educational program works. I can go into theory and describe my research, but in short, those who learn from a trained, caring local mentor/teacher or friend, have a better transition. That’s how this opportunity found me: I was that friend.

TT: Love it. Tell us one moment from your international connections that was particularly powerful.

Tara: One day, a woman in her 40’s from Cuba contacted me and wanted to meet. She was beautiful, kind, and funny. That’s why my heart broke when her tears began muffling her story.

Apparently, she had been in the U.S. for about 6 months after arriving with her husband (an expatriate contracted in the U.S. for one year). She still had no friends, knew almost no English, and was terrified to leave the house without her husband. This moment changed my life. Here I was, a person seeking to know this culture, befriend and teach people like her, and she was hiding at home too afraid to pick up a ringing telephone. She said, “I feel like I’m shrinking. I’m lonely, sad, and afraid”. I knew right then that teaching international sojourners was my destiny.

Teaching from laptops to international students across the globe.

Teaching from laptops to international students all the way across the globe.

TT: So powerful. You’re doing important work! How have your travels impacted you as a teacher and in your HLSL career?

Tara: There is a common theme that I’ve witnessed during my travels and interactions with various cultures that directly impacts my teaching. It’s that compassion and empathy is understood by all cultures and creates an authentic connection transcending cultural or language differences. Knowing this helps me connect with my students regardless of where they originate from. For example, a woman from Iran recently told me that our “inner connection” was stronger than our language gaps. She felt that “we are the same”, that we were friends. I saw that this made her more comfortable to engage with other U.S. natives and that’s what I’m all about.

TT: Beautiful. How has travel impacted you as a person?

T: It’s all about learning. As a life-long international learner, travel provides infinite opportunity to expand my identity. People, languages, cultures, food, music, history, religions, etc. help shape my worldviews and my ability to contribute a lasting valuable legacy. I’m a better leader and global citizen because of my travels.

Tara at the Pantheon in Italy: Experiencing Rome while teaching about U.S. culture.

(right) Tara at the Pantheon in Italy: Experiencing Rome while teaching about U.S. culture.

TT: What advice do you have for teachers who are dreaming of travel, or travelers dreaming of teaching?

T: The world is your oyster! International education is on the rise every year (thus, increasing a need for teachers) and with technology, you can teach from anywhere. First, search the internet for grants and scholarships to teach or travel abroad and for positions, then, commit! More opportunities will present themselves as your travels unfold. You don’t need to know how your travel story or teaching story ends, just begin the story and see where it takes you. There are tons of blogs and tools to learn the tricks to succeed at both travel and teaching, but you need to make the decision to commit. Once you do, it’s a win-win lifestyle and the benefits are infinite.

TT: Thanks so much, Tara! Readers, what questions or comments do you have? 

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Filed under Higher Education, International Education

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