Intercultural Experience Showcase
On Tuesday, April 13, University of Alabama students presented posters highlighting their experiences from the CIP 202 course, Introduction to Global and Cultural Perspectives. This is an intercultural experience course that offers UA students the chance to meet with international students from all over the world. The UA students join English Language Institute (ELI) students to discuss cultural and current topics. The course provides the opportunity for the students to develop their intercultural competence, the ability to communicate effectively and appropriately with people of other cultures.
Many of the students expressed that their biggest fear before joining the course was that they would say something inappropriate. However, once the course began, students quickly overcame this fear and began to form connections with the international students. UA students expressed surprise by how easily they could communicate with students from other countries and the many similarities they shared. Several UA students commented that this was their favorite class of the semester. As one student put it, it is a “life experience” class, not just a class focusing on a textbook. UA students felt that this class gave them confidence to communicate effectively with a wide variety of people in the future. For some students, the course led to an interest in studying abroad.
The ELI students benefit from the course as well. They have the opportunity to share their culture while learning more about U.S. culture and campus life.
Kelly McPherson, the course instructor, said, “It is really exciting to see the relationships between the American and international students grow over the course of the semester. You can see change on both sides as they truly get to know each other.”
The CIP 202 course is an introductory course for UA’s Global and Cultural Perspectives Minor.