Team Work in International Programs: Why is it so difficult?

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Team Work in International Programs: Why is it so difficult?
And what can we do about it? It is common knowledge that students often find it difficult to collaborate on assignments, projects, etc., but we require that they do so for a number of reasons, e.g. to learn how to work in teams or take advantage of the diversity represented by team members. In programmes that accept international students, these difficulties seem to increase. Home students are often reluctant to enter into collaboration with their international peers, whereas the international students tend to be much more open towards intercultural collaboration. The issues that arise seem to be grounded in linguistic, cultural and educational factors.
This paper reports on and discusses a study of student responses to intercultural collaboration (in English) in two programmes at Aarhus University, Denmark. One conclusion is that the international students are more prepared to work in multicultural teams than their Danish peers. Another one tells us that once students have experience with the diversity of these teams, at least some of them become more open towards working in such teams in the future.
It is interesting to discuss the pedagogical and didactic implications of these findings. What can we as lecturers/teachers do in order to have students buy into the added value of diversity and multicultural teams from the beginning? The presenter will reflect on this in order to facilitate a discussion and exchange of experience among the participants.
Participants may expect to obtain a raised awareness of the issues at stake as regards student collaboration in international programmes and to learn from the knowledge and experience of colleagues.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventThe SoTL Commons 2013: A Conference for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning - Georgia Coastal Center, Savannah, GA, Savannah, GA, United States
Duration: 27 Mar 201329 Mar 2013

Conference

ConferenceThe SoTL Commons 2013
LocationGeorgia Coastal Center, Savannah, GA
CountryUnited States
CitySavannah, GA
Period27/03/201329/03/2013

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