The pride we take in our international character confers upon us the responsibility to recognize the diverse backgrounds our international students bring to the classroom and create an atmosphere of respect, transparency, and care for the whole person.

Preexisting norms and values may require adjustment to The Georgetown Way → Account for these without passing judgement.

  • Teacher-centered vs. Learner-centered classrooms
  • Cooperation vs. Competition
  • Collectivism vs. Individualism
  • Common knowledge vs. Intellectual property
  • Collaboration vs. Cheating
  • Reporting others: Honor or Betrayal?

Avoid assumptions about body language. Confusion, distress, or contentment may manifest differently in other cultures; silence could mean respect or focused concentration rather than boredom or disengagement.

  • Invite reluctant students to join in discussion, allowing them a few extra seconds to gather their words.
  • Encourage students to find their own voice in their writing.
  • Ensure classroom and assignment groups are mixed across several demographics.
  • Be mindful of jargon, puns, or cultural references that may inadvertently exclude part of the audience → Sarcasm and humor are easily lost in translation.
  • A student who feels culturally alienated may also feel disaffected with our community ethos and Standards of Conduct.

  • Western citation conventions may be new to some students → Offer examples of both ideal and inadequate citation and paraphrase.
  • Language barriers may complicate the comprehension of dense instructions → Clarify parameters both verbally and in writing.
  • Directly address the temptations that lead to violations.

  • Understand that a professor’s availability to provide individualized feedback through office hours may be culturally unfamiliar, requiring further encouragement.
  • Refer students to academic and health resources on campus, such as the Library, CAPS, ARC, Writing Center, Meditation, Yates, LEP, Campus Ministry, etc.
  • Take a preventative approach, identifying warning signs and using small lapses as teachable moments → How to use Turnitin.com