Training Sessions for Staff

As our Irish Higher Education campuses in Ireland become more diverse and multi-cultural, it is increasingly important to ensure that staff members are confident that they have the intercultural skills and understanding required to support the needs of all students. International students often face a wide number of challenges when adapting to a new cultural, social and academic environment, and this transition can be assisted through the support of culturally sensitive staff members.

Using the ICOS ‘Diverse Voices’ toolkit, ICOS has developed intercultural training workshops to meet the needs of those who work in the third level education sector. ICOS tries to keep group sizes small (maximum 20 attendees) to encourage group interaction and sharing of expertise.

There is a more general Introduction to Cross-Cultural Awareness and Communication session, which is suitable for both student support staff and academic staff, while the Teaching and Learning in an Intercultural Context session is targeted specifically at academic staff.

For further information on the below sessions, or to book a session, contact us at training@icosirl.ie.

Training courses available are:

Introduction to Cross-Cultural Awareness and Communication

from €600*
Can be delivered as a half day (3 hours) or full day (6 hours) session for up to 20 attendees.**

*This is the reduced basic rate for institutions that are members of ICOS. The cost for non-members will be higher. ICOS also invoices for standard expenses. Training equipment, venue and refreshments should be provided by the institution.
**Where a session is in excess of the maximum numbers, delivery may take place across two sessions, or a different rate may apply.

A broad range of staff in university departments who interact directly with international students, e.g. student advisers, administrators, secretaries, receptionists, housekeeping, attendants, canteen and security staff.

This workshop is designed to introduce issues of cultural awareness to those who work with international students. The workshop will encourage participants to explore their own assumptions and preconceptions about other cultures, as well as creating awareness of their own cultural heritage and how it affects their world views, values and assumptions. The session also encourages participants to focus on their communication style, and how it is affected by culture, as well as the importance of non-verbal communication signals and the way these affect the communication process. The session is interactive and draws upon participants’ own experiences.

To increase cultural awareness among those working with international students and/or in an intercultural environment, and to foster better interactions and communication between staff and international students.

  • Define the key terms relating to 'culture' and apply this knowledge to discuss cultural difference in a positive way
  • Identify the cultural values that cause cultural differences
  • Understand how awareness about other cultures and cultural differences can improve interactions in a multicultural environment
  • Understand how culture affects communication
  • Identify barriers to effective cross-cultural communication
  • Understand the importance of verbal and non-verbal behaviour when communicating across cultures.

Teaching and Learning in an Intercultural Context

from €600*
Can be delivered as a half day (3 hours) or full day (6 hours) session for up to 20 attendees.**

*This is the reduced basic rate for institutions that are members of ICOS. The cost for non-members will be higher. ICOS also invoices for standard expenses. Training equipment, venue and refreshments should be provided by the institution.
**Where a session is in excess of the maximum numbers, delivery may take place across two sessions, or a different rate may apply.

Those involved in teaching, tutoring and supervising international students.

This interactive session is designed to address the needs of international students as learners. The session will introduce issues of cultural awareness to those who teach international students, as well as issues involved in cross-cultural communication.

The session also explores some important issues and classroom management strategies for those teaching students for whom English is not their native language, and strategies for improving communication and ensuring a positive learning experience of all students.

International students bring a broad range of cultural perspectives to the learning environment, and this diversity has the capacity to enrich teaching and learning in the University.

To discuss and explore strategies for improving the international student experience in a teaching and learning environment, while simultaneously improving interaction between home and international students.

  • Review and discuss the literature available on teaching international students
  • Plan for and offer better support to international students and those involved in teaching
  • Identify the main barriers in terms of teaching, e.g. language awareness, non-verbal behaviour, learning styles, communication skills, academic writing etc.
  • Identify and solve problems with the help of others in the workshop

Do you have a more specific training need? ICOS can also deliver tailored workshops which can be developed to meet your staff training needs. For any enquiries, contact us at training@icosirl.ie.