Multicultural Experience during Higher Education

I believe that cultural activities should be added in the syllabuses of undergraduate courses. As an international student, I was impressed to observe several cultures and diversities during my Ph.D. at Virginia Tech. Graduate School at Virginia Tech consists of the students from several nationalities, therefore it creates an active atmosphere for the students to learn from other cultures. One of the reasons that I preferred to go abroad for my higher education was that I could learn more about other cultures and understand their school of thoughts.

I remember when I participated in Grad 5104 course, I was impressed that the class included several majors, for example, Art, Engineering, humanities and etc. The students also talked about their country briefly in two sessions and it was another interesting issue. Because it was great to gather students from more than eight different nations.

Now in pedagogy class, I have the same experience and it seems that the courses those are presented by Graduate School have been designed for this purpose. But, I think that we may use this opportunity better. For example, we may ask the students to present their experience of their culture related to pedagogy rules and methods. I watched an interesting video related to inclusive pedagogy and diversity. The instructor from Ball Sate University experimented a case by some students. In this video, the students explained their experience in this experiment.

http://dvisweb1.bsu.edu/media/BSU/OID/Timothy_Berg.html

It was so nice that the students learned several issues during that study. I believe that this type of classes has some advantages:

  • The students learn from their peers and can be familiar with other cultures and religions.
  • They share their ideas and it helps them to amend their style of life if they think that it is not perfect.
  • As an international student, I saw some misunderstanding related to my culture and religion in the past two years since my enrollment at Virginia Tech. So, by this method, the students understand each other better and it helps them to solve some misconceptions between different cultures and religions.

Consequently, inclusive pedagogy has a significant effect on the students’ life and may serve the students to learn more things in their life beyond their academic education.

 

 

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3 Responses to Multicultural Experience during Higher Education

  1. Carrie Jensen says:

    I studied abroad in South America as an undergrad and am a huge proponent of international experiences/spending time outside of your home country to gain exposure to different cultures and develop new perspectives! Of course, studying or living abroad is not possible for everyone, and I agree that we can make much more use of existing diversity that we already have on campus to at least get a feel for the multicultural experience (not to imply that you have to be from a different country to have a distinct culture–the good ol’ U.S. of A. is quite colorful and varied from sea to shining sea). I also like that you talk about students sharing/comparing ideas and learning from each other–I tend to think that it is beneficial to talk about our differences to be able to appreciate them and maybe even, as you mention, try to incorporate them into your own life. Thanks for the post!

  2. Homero says:

    Thanks for sharing!

    Great experiments. I also am an advocate for international opportunities. One of the best experiences of my life was to be on the Global perspectives program. I encourage everyone taking the class to apply, since it’s a great experience. Talking and sharing with people from different disciplines about higher education, and cultural differences in Switzerland and Italy is for sure a great learning experience.

    Homero

  3. A. Nelson says:

    Thanks so much for this reflection and for directing me to the video from Ball State!

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