Cross cultural double talk: Communication challenges within edu-tourism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The massive acceleration of international student mobility in recent years has provided an eclectic (short and long term) cultural influx into Australia. Sitting somewhere between structured immigration and international tourism, this influx effectively constitutes edutourism, in which students seek to experience education and local culture over a period of several weeks, months or even years. It is through the hybrid nature of this edu-tourism, that the complex interconnection of culture, languages and education is highlighted, revealing both significant advantages and flaws. If we are to value education above it being merely a tradable commodity, it is clear that it must also be about enhancing the 'social good' and genuinely improving intercultural communications and outcomes. The increasing demands of work, play, economic and political survival within the global community require that we become interculturally competent citizens. In order to achieve such competence, it is therefore essential to deepen cultural awareness and empathy through maximising effective interpersonal experiences. While edu-tourist students do interact to an extent within class cohorts and organised social activities, there remain serious limitations. Classes may not offer sufficient cultural diversity; social activities, whilst popular, may serve to be culturally divisive, rather than inclusive, thus hindering the cultural integration process. The authors of this paper, in their capacities as university educators (one in Strategic Communications and Gender Studies and the other in languages and intercultural communication research), have observed student intercultural engagement in their classes and on the university campus. Their observations show consistent patterns of behaviours and recurring issues, which led them to clarify challenges and recommend ways for higher education providers to develop deeper cultural ties through specific communication opportunities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-228
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Arts and Sciences
Volume6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Tourism
intercultural communication
communication
education
student
cultural integration
gender studies
university
communication research
interconnection
cultural diversity
language
empathy
commodity
tourist
immigration
communications
experience
educator
citizen

Cite this

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title = "Cross cultural double talk: Communication challenges within edu-tourism",
abstract = "The massive acceleration of international student mobility in recent years has provided an eclectic (short and long term) cultural influx into Australia. Sitting somewhere between structured immigration and international tourism, this influx effectively constitutes edutourism, in which students seek to experience education and local culture over a period of several weeks, months or even years. It is through the hybrid nature of this edu-tourism, that the complex interconnection of culture, languages and education is highlighted, revealing both significant advantages and flaws. If we are to value education above it being merely a tradable commodity, it is clear that it must also be about enhancing the 'social good' and genuinely improving intercultural communications and outcomes. The increasing demands of work, play, economic and political survival within the global community require that we become interculturally competent citizens. In order to achieve such competence, it is therefore essential to deepen cultural awareness and empathy through maximising effective interpersonal experiences. While edu-tourist students do interact to an extent within class cohorts and organised social activities, there remain serious limitations. Classes may not offer sufficient cultural diversity; social activities, whilst popular, may serve to be culturally divisive, rather than inclusive, thus hindering the cultural integration process. The authors of this paper, in their capacities as university educators (one in Strategic Communications and Gender Studies and the other in languages and intercultural communication research), have observed student intercultural engagement in their classes and on the university campus. Their observations show consistent patterns of behaviours and recurring issues, which led them to clarify challenges and recommend ways for higher education providers to develop deeper cultural ties through specific communication opportunities.",
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}

Cross cultural double talk : Communication challenges within edu-tourism. / Ting, Susie; Patron, Marie Claire.

In: International Journal of Arts and Sciences, Vol. 6, No. 3, 2013, p. 213-228.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AB - The massive acceleration of international student mobility in recent years has provided an eclectic (short and long term) cultural influx into Australia. Sitting somewhere between structured immigration and international tourism, this influx effectively constitutes edutourism, in which students seek to experience education and local culture over a period of several weeks, months or even years. It is through the hybrid nature of this edu-tourism, that the complex interconnection of culture, languages and education is highlighted, revealing both significant advantages and flaws. If we are to value education above it being merely a tradable commodity, it is clear that it must also be about enhancing the 'social good' and genuinely improving intercultural communications and outcomes. The increasing demands of work, play, economic and political survival within the global community require that we become interculturally competent citizens. In order to achieve such competence, it is therefore essential to deepen cultural awareness and empathy through maximising effective interpersonal experiences. While edu-tourist students do interact to an extent within class cohorts and organised social activities, there remain serious limitations. Classes may not offer sufficient cultural diversity; social activities, whilst popular, may serve to be culturally divisive, rather than inclusive, thus hindering the cultural integration process. The authors of this paper, in their capacities as university educators (one in Strategic Communications and Gender Studies and the other in languages and intercultural communication research), have observed student intercultural engagement in their classes and on the university campus. Their observations show consistent patterns of behaviours and recurring issues, which led them to clarify challenges and recommend ways for higher education providers to develop deeper cultural ties through specific communication opportunities.

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