Publication Date

1999

Abstract

Responding to the needs of a globalizing society, many educational institutions are putting greater efforts into internationalizing their campuses in order to prepare the younger generation to become ‘global citizens.’ In the United States, universities and colleges receive the greatest number of international students from all over the world, and a great number of US students study abroad. Despite the effort of internationalizing campuses, the separation or ‘ghettoization’ of international students is still a common experience within many educational institutions. The School for International Training (SIT) is not an exception. Over the years, many students and faculty have raised the question: “How can we 'integrate' international students into the SIT community?” I have witnessed many international students becoming frustrated with the situation in many ways. Even at SIT, which is institutionally committed to intercultural learning, we still hear of the dilemma of alienation of international students. We still hear that “assimilation” is required for those who are ‘joining’ the community. The questions I attempt to address in this paper are “what is 'intercultural learning,' what do we learn at SIT, and what are the implications of campus internationalization for both domestic and international students?" I also reassess the definition and associated feelings of "assimilation" and "intercultural learning." Then I compile the examples of intercultural learning at SIT through a questionnaire. By examining the data collected, I found a great possibility of unconsciousness," in which students unconsciously value and assume things according to their expectations. That is ethnocentric, and is a hindrance to learning. Bringing people from different cultures together does not necessarily mean learning interculturally. It could simply enhance the ethnocentrism, unless we all develop intercultural sensitivity to reflect upon individual consciousness.

Share

 
COinS