Category: Hawaii Student Housing (27)


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Closeup of mother with teenage daughter

Although you know this will be an awesome experience for your loved one, you are not comfortable with the many unknown variables. Where is your child going to live? Is it safe? Who will be there for them in case they need?

While sending your child to college can be wonderfully exciting, it can also be very stressful. Besides the obvious emotions that come with your child leaving home for the first time, you will continue to worry about all facets of your child’s health and well being. Is he eating right? Did she get sick? Is he getting enough sleep, studying enough, managing time well, meeting new friends…and it goes on and on. And sometimes you may even worry about more serious health and wellness issues like dangerous binge drinking, drug use, and other destructive behaviors.

The frustrating part of all this for most parents is that you cannot be there every minute to guide your child and help them make wise decisions.

They want independence and freedom to explore life. But it is proven that after the first months of optimism and excitement, a lonely phase starts and disorientation can knock on the door.

H.I.S. will check on your loved one for you, providing freedom for them to grow, but being a local friendly hand when they need the most.


YOUR part in this stage of your child’s life:


Mother holding teen daughter in her armsTalk with your student about alcohol and drugs. While parents may not be able to actively monitor students away from home, they can be available to talk and listen, and that is just as important. It can do more than help shape lives, it can save lives.

  1. Set clear and realistic expectations regarding academic performance. Studies conducted nationally have demonstrated that partying may contribute as much to a student’s decline in grades as the difficulty of his or her academic work.
  2. Stress to students that drugs and alcohol is toxic and excessive consumption can fatally poison. This is not a scare tactic. The fact is students die every year from alcohol poisoning. they see someone putting their life at risk through participation in dangerous drinking.
  3. Tell students to intervene when classmates are in trouble with alcohol. Nothing is more tragic than an unconscious student being left to die while others either fail to recognize that the student is in jeopardy or fail to call for help due to fear of getting the student in trouble.
  4. Tell students to stand up for their right to a safe academic environment. Students who do not drink can be affected by the behavior of those who do, ranging from interrupted study time to assault or unwanted sexual advances.
  5. Avoid tales of drinking exploits from your own college years. Entertaining students with stories of drinking back in “the good old days” normalizes what, even then, was abnormal behavior. It also appears to give parental approval to dangerous alcohol consumption.
  6. Encourage your student to volunteer in community work. In addition to structuring free time, volunteerism provides students with opportunities to develop job-related skills and to gain valuable experience.
  7. Make it clear –  alcohol-impaired driving is against the law. Parents should make it clear that they do not condone breaking the law.


H.I.S is 100% International Student Housing

Your son or daughter will be able to meet friends and get the best education while enjoying himself / herself in a natural environment.

Although we try to help them as much as we can, we can’t be held responsive for their choices. We will provide counseling, guidance and assistance by being close and locally positioned, but our main goal is to help them to grow with their own choices.


They grew up! We treat them as adults.

Pretty student taking book from shelf in library at the universityWe can’t replace you as a parent, and that’s part of their desire to experience life out of their parent’s house, but we will be your representatives when they need a safe harbor. We will invest in their growth, both personal and academic.

Before signing up with any other “student housing”, ask them to send their contract over. Many of them are actually hotels, and they reserve the right to move your student from one location to another without your permission.

We work with Hawaii colleges and universities and we are open to be inspected by them at any time.

Your son / daughter privacy is very important to us. We will intervene if we believe they are behaving in a way that can cause harm to themselves or others.

By being RESPONSIBLE for their choices, they will grow and will be able to take the best of this opportunity.

Studying abroad is likely to be an exciting, enriching and fulfilling experience. But initially at least, it may also feel daunting and at times overwhelming.

New international students have to adapt to a new place, new culture and perhaps a new language, all at the same time.

Most universities (certainly those with large numbers of international students) however, have well developed support systems in place for international students.

These are designed to make the study-abroad experience as easy and enjoyable as possible, from application all the way through to graduation.

Pre-arrival support

Many universities have a welcome pack or guide specifically designed for international students. This may be available online, or sent by mail once you’ve been offered a place, and should contain useful information about preparing for studying abroad and what to expect when you arrive.

This guide may cover topics such as accommodation options, arranging medical insurance, tuition fee payments, visa requirements, budgeting for living expenses, part-time work and advice on what to bring with you.

There should also be information about the university and how things work there, including important online resources, administrative departments and campus facilities – so that it’s all a bit less unknown when you arrive.

Of course, there’s more to preparing for studying abroad than just filling out a visa application and applying for a place in student halls. You may have questions or concerns about other aspects of student life, or just feel nervous about not knowing anyone when you get there.

To fill these gaps, growing numbers of universities are introducing student mentoring schemes that start before arrival. This means future students are matched up with current students, who then communicate, usually via email, in the months leading up to the start of the course.

The idea is to ensure that international students feel welcomed into the student community before they even arrive, and know that there will be at least one friendly face waiting to greet them.

Orientation programs

The first few weeks of being an international student are likely to be the most obviously overwhelming. There’s so much to take in, so many new places and people, and it can take a while to find your feet.

It’s typical for universities to invite international students to arrive a few days earlier than the rest of the student body, to give them a chance to get settled and acclimatized before the chaos really begins!

This time is usually filled with an international student orientation program, designed to provide practical support and information, and also to encourage international students to get to know one another.

Common elements of international student orientation programs include being picked up from the airport, tours of the campus and local area, social events and activities, and introductory lectures and talks.

There’s also a more light-hearted workshop on the subject of culture shock, which addresses some of the differences in language and lifestyle that students may encounter, including different social norms, values and expectations.

If parents and other family members of international students are able to attend, they may also be invited to join in with orientation activities.

Ongoing support

Of course, the first few days are not the only time international students need support.

Marcey Abramovitz, international student support coordinator, says, “It is not only vital that students are promptly given a framework of information on the institution and the surrounding area, but they should also be made aware of the support network they can rely on should any issues arise during the course of their stay.”

She adds, “In some cases, just knowing that this support network is there if they need it can be help enough.” In many universities, the first point of call for international students needing help is the team of international student advisers.

These are members of staff available by email, phone or in person to help international students resolve any problems that come up – either themselves, or by directing the student to the most relevant person.

Having this dedicated team is important, Abramovitz says, because it means international students can always feel confident about where to start if they have a problem, rather than wasting time trying to figure out how or where to get the help they need.

The most common problems addressed by international student advisers include homesickness, culture shock, language difficulties, unfamiliar academic or grading systems, immigration, insurance and health problems.

The university’s international student advisers have the experience and skills needed to deal with the practical aspects of these issues – but also the emotional side of things.

Most of them have experienced living, studying or working abroad themselves, which helps them to empathize with how students are feeling.

As well as support from staff and other students, there’s also a third option: members of the local community. This type of support is available for international students in some universities, through a ‘host family’ program.

This scheme matches up international students with local families. The ‘host’ family offer friendship and hospitality (rather than ‘hosting’ in the sense of providing accommodation). For example, they might invite the students to their home for meals, or show them around the local area.

The idea is to promote cultural exchange, and help international students feel more fully immersed in and welcomed into the surrounding community.

Fun and games

Not all support services are about fixing problems; many simply aim to ensure all students enjoy their time at university, and have a fulfilling experience.

University calendars are packed with events aimed at or organized by international students. Some are specifically intended to promote cultural exchange, and others are just for fun.

At some universities regular activities organized for international students include film evenings, visits to local attractions, guest speakers, hiking expeditions and a weekly ‘international coffee hour’, where students get together over a hot drink, biscuits and conversation.

Some others holds a weekly ‘global cafe’ event, in which international and domestic students are invited to enjoy tea, coffee and cookies – a good opportunity to meet new people and build connections.

Other goes one better than this; as well as offering refreshments, its weekly ‘intercultural evenings’ also host performances and talks, while still preserving a relaxed environment.

Of course, there are plenty of other social events that are not specifically targeted at international students – and intercultural exchange is certainly not restricted to specified events.

One of the great things about university life is the sheer range of activities and organizations you can get involved with; there really should be something for everyone.

Study-abroad veteran Renatha Lussa explains what is meant by ‘culture shock’ and how to cope when you encounter it.

Going to live abroad is an exciting experience that requires preparation.

I am not talking about technical issues such as how many pairs of socks you should bring with you. I am talking about the big preparation, the one that is essential to making your experience rich and positive. Before you go, get prepared to experience culture shock.

Some of you may say “Culture shock? Not for me. Where I’m going is only an hour’s flight from home.”

It is true that the degree of difference in one’s own and the host culture is important, but this is not the only variable. And let’s not forget that the concept of culture can also be used for an organization, institution or a group. As a result, even a simple reorganization may generate culture shock.

So, what is culture shock? Well, it’s a mix of emotions. Feelings of loss, confusion, stress, anxiety and impotence that comes from both the challenge of new cultural surroundings and from the loss of a familiar cultural environment.

In my experience, culture shock can be divided into four stages:

1. The Honeymoon

“Oh, this is wonderful. Let’s go there. Amaaazing!” You are obviously excited and have an idealised view of the new culture. Anxiety and stress may be present but your general euphoria overtakes them.

Karim Sanaz, is an Iranian student at Uppsala University in Sweden. He remembers that when he arrived in Sweden everything seemed really different from his homeland. “I actually didn’t feel any sense of belonging. To me it was more like watching a beautiful movie without being part of it.”

2. The Crisis Phase

“I am tired. No one understands me. I want to go home!” This could be something you would say just before you kick the closet with your bare foot. Reality is back.

This phase occurs anywhere from the first two weeks to several months. Some of these differences you found so “amaaazing” in the first place, start to really get on your nerves. Perhaps you are struggling to make yourself understood by locals, you feel like a child; confused and tired.

3. The Adjustment Phase

You are still here. Well done. Understanding, acceptance and adaptation is key now. In this phase you will start to face new challenges in a positive way.

You will finally understand the new culture is different, accept it as it is and start to adapt your values, personality and behaviour to the host culture.

4. The Resolution Phase

“This is home guys!” You have developed your routine and the efforts you put in place in the previous stage are now imperceptible. You are stable emotionally and you feel comfortable.

Clarisse Mergen is currently studying a master’s degree in Canada. She arrived in Montreal three months ago and already feels like she’s in the resolution phase. “I’ve learned new behaviors that are now automatic reflexes, like waste recycling. I am also now more curious about the country’s politics and the way institutions work.”

Coping with Culture Shock

First of all, congratulations! You’ve just passed the first step that leads to the resolution. Indeed, now you know more about culture shock, you will be able to identify it when it happens.

If you feel tired, if you are emotionally sensitive, if you are critical of the culture, if you want to go home then you will know it is a normal reaction and you should not give up. Just understand, accept and adapt. Easy to say, I know. So here are some more tips for you.

  • Before you go, read some books about the place where you will be staying. This will help you develop more realistic expectations and will involve you even more in the project.
  • Cover your basic needs and ensure your security is met. Choose a safe area to live in, ensure your budget is under control, bring any medication you may need with you, as well as your earplugs if you are sensitive to noise.
  • You can also create a sense of safety and reassurance by bringing familiar items with you. Mergen admits: “I brought some pictures of my friends and family – as well as my teddy bear! It actually helped me feel at home at the beginning of my stay.”
  • Keep in touch with home by using MSN, Facebook, Skype, blogs, telephone and post – you are spoiled for choice! It may be difficult sometimes to keep a relationship going only by email, so do pick up your phone from time to time, it really makes the difference.
  • In times of instability, a feeling for your own culture when abroad is always comforting – speaking your own language, eating typical food, reading a newspaper from home. But be careful not to overdo these tricks, as they can be a way of resisting the change. Sanaz recommends that foreigners don’t spend too much time with their own community. “Try to tackle the language barrier as early as possible. It might be difficult at the beginning, but it is rewarding,” he says.
  • Maintain a network of people you love, you trust and who will give you confidence when you feel unsettled. If you are a fan of rugby or cinema, join a club. This is generally a good way to meet local people in a relaxed atmosphere. If you are not a fan of anything in particular then try something new and why not, something local: beach volley in Brazil, calligraphy in China, Bollywood dance in India. And don’t forget charities and volunteering opportunities, which can be a great way to feel part of a local community.

Now you should be more equipped to face culture shock if it happens. Indeed, some people don’t feel it at all, others feel it strongly. The intensity of culture shock depends on so many factors that you can’t really generalize. But at least you are aware of it, and you’ll know you’re not the only one feeling this way!

Finally, make the most of this experience and wherever you are in the world, have fun!

emotionnal comfort 6

You may have heard of the Five Stages of Grief (refresh your memory with this educational clip from The Simpsons), but how about the Five Stages of Studying Abroad?

Italian student Gracy Rigano has spent a year studying abroad in Spain and six months working abroad in the UK, so she’s been through all these stages and back again! Here she outlines five emotional phases you can expect to encounter when studying abroad…


Phase 1: Excitement and optimism

It’s natural, either before leaving or after you’ve arrived, to go through a stage of feeling really excited, and enthusiastic for all the new and exciting things to come.

This can be a great feeling, especially if you can turn all that positive energy into a spirit of adventure and fearlessness when encountering new situations and challenges.


Phase 2: Disorientation

Especially if you don’t know anyone in your new location, it’s common to experience a feeling of being ‘lost’ and disorientated. I’ve found that it’s helpful to focus on establishing a stable base for yourself, so you have a place where you can feel at home and secure – a sort of ‘nest’.

Making a project out of transforming your student room will also give you a practical focus, hopefully meaning less time for moping around feeling sorry for yourself! Remember, help will always be there if you need it; universities have lots of support services just waiting for you.


Phase 3: Loneliness

Even the most open and friendly of people are likely to find integrating into a completely new country and culture a bit of a challenge. This can be especially difficult if you’re also not a native speaker of the local language.

To get past this phase, you need to basically push on through it – challenge yourself to keep trying, and don’t let your anxieties hold you back. This will almost certainly mean there are times when you’re outside your own comfort zone, but ultimately that’s a good thing!


Phase 4: Homesickness

Pretty much everyone experiences homesickness at some point while studying or working abroad, so just be prepared for this and know that it’s normal and will pass.

You could also view this as part of the personal development you undergo while away from home. It’s said that the only way to really appreciate one place is to go and live somewhere else – and spending time abroad is a great way of finding out more about yourself and what you really want from life.


Phase 5: Acceptance and serenity

After all the ups and downs, excitement, challenges and personal reflection of the initial settling-in period, you can look forward to a calmer, more relaxed time.

This doesn’t mean there won’t still be excitement and challenges, of course! But, having accepted both the positives and negatives of your situation, and reached a point where you’re more confident in your surroundings, you should be ready to simply enjoy your time studying abroad and really make the most of it.

Of course, everyone’s experience is different, so this model should be seen as flexible – you won’t necessarily go through each stage in exactly this order! But hopefully knowing that your experience is ‘normal’ and that each stage will pass should help – especially when you encounter some of the more challenging phases.

Source: Top Universities

Five Ways to Sabotage Your Own Study-Abroad Experience

Ok, time for another in-reverse guide. You’ve learned how NOT to choose a study destination – now here’s what NOT to do in order to have a fantastic time studying abroad. (Or conversely, if you’re really bent on ruining your own life, five ways to do that…)

1. Be a Moaning Minnie

Ok, so a little homesickness is one of the natural emotions you can expect to experience – but don’t let yourself overindulge in this. If you get stuck in the habit of comparing everything to the way things were back home (“Did I say that back home, we have all this stuff but, like, better? I did?”), you’ll:

a) Shut down lots of fun experiences for yourself,

b) End up with an idealized dream of home that’s probably just not true,

c) Become such a Moaning Minnie that no one will want to hang out with you.

  • Spotting homesickness >

2. Form an international student clique

It’s also natural that you’ll find yourself drawn towards other international students – for one thing, they’re probably the first people you’ll meet if you attend the university’s international student orientation program.

Meeting other international students is great and can be a fast way to form friendships with people from all around the world (as long as you don’t just cling to those from your own country). However, some foreign students reach a point where they realize they’ve hardly formed any meaningful relationships with local students.

Why is this a bad thing? Well, at least some of them are probably fantastic individuals who you’d get on with really well. Second, they’re perfectly placed to give you real insights into the life and culture of the country – which, yes, you’ll probably get to on your own, but it’s nice to have a local ‘guide’ to speed the process along.

Finally, if you ever want to return, it’d be good to have a friendly face to greet you – and possibly a free bed!

3. Become That Library Guy/Girl

Every course has its Library Guy/Girl – that diligent student who’s got a reputation for pretty much never leaving the library. Yeah s/he is probably going to be top of the class, but they do seem to miss out on a lot…

Obviously I don’t mean you shouldn’t take your studies seriously. But whatever course you’re taking, it really shouldn’t mean you never ever have time for anything else – in fact, taking time out is likely to be beneficial.

And believe me, even if you graduate with a first-class-honours-degree-with-cherries-on-top, you’ll regret it if when you look back at your time abroad all you remember is the shape of the librarian’s balding patch and that humming noise the lights made.

  • Escape the student bubble >

4. Become a Total Party Animal

The antithesis of Library Guy, Total Party Animal has – so the rumour goes – no idea of where the library even is. S/he is rarely seen before noon, never in a lecture theatre, and is apparently genetically unable to say ‘no’ to any request involving the prospect of a Good Time.

You’ve probably guessed the end of this story. Unless you’re one of those infuriating geniuses who seems to do well without ever opening a book, this path is not going to lead to academic success. And since you’re investing a lot of time (and probably money) in your degree, you almost certainly want to do the best you can.

So, while it is important to say ‘yes’ to the awesome experiences university and New Country have to offer, remember to say no when you know you really do need to study!

  • Professors can be guilty of this too >

5. Spend all your money in the first week/month/term

There’s a lot to think about when starting university, and even more when you’re studying abroad. What with applications, visas, finding accommodation, packing and so on, you may not have much time to sit down and draw up a budget.

And even if you have worked out how much you can really afford to spend, all the above-mentioned excitement can somehow make you ‘forget’ to check your bank account once you’re in the midst of term time.

Again, the key here is balance; don’t obsessively count out every dollar/euro/pound you pay out, but do try to keep a fairly regular check on the rate at which your bank balance is going down – and the likelihood of it hitting zero before your next pay cheque/bursary/parental handout comes in.

If you have a problem, it’s best to spot it early.  That way you’ll have time to look for a part-time job, sweet-talk your family, and/or seek advice from the university – they should have support staff who can help you work out a solution.

Ok, lecture over! Now get out there and have fun!

Source: Top Universities

We tend to assume that having a higher proportion of international students is a good thing – in fact, that’s one of the measurements used by the QS World University Rankings to assess how ‘internationalized’ a university is.

In many cases, a higher proportion of international students does in fact translate into a more exciting, multicultural experience – both within the classroom and beyond. But as a number of experts and academics have pointed out, this may not always be the case.

So how can you ensure that a university’s high ratio of international students will really mean a more ‘international’ learning environment, in the best possible way?

1. Talk to some international students

One of the most obvious and effective ways of getting behind the numbers is to talk to some current international students, and find out whether their experiences match up to what you’re expecting.

Many universities today have student ambassadors, whose role is exactly this – you may be able to contact them directly through the university website, or via the international student office or the student union.

You could also contact leaders of international student clubs and societies – who again, you should be able to find through the website or perhaps via a Facebook group.

A good policy here would be to speak to as many different students as you can – remember everyone’s experience will be different, so try and get a good spread of perspectives before making up your own mind.

2. Check out the social calendar

If you haven’t already during stage one, check out the list of student clubs and societies, and calendar of annual events – both should be available via the university website (again, if you’re stuck, ask university support staff to point you in the right direction).

This should give you a feel for how diverse the social life at the university really is. By this, I don’t just mean checking whether there’s an ‘Asian students society’ or a ‘Spanish-speaking student club’ – but also more subtle signs that the university’s multicultural intake has genuinely influenced the range of leisure activities on offer.

For example, there might be university-wide celebrations of different cultures’ major festivals. There could be opportunities to learn and share sports and hobbies from all corners of the world – from capoeira to crochet and manga to Morris dancing (hey, each to their own).

3. Get a feel for the international student support services

By this stage, you may have already had some contact with the university’s international student support staff – and had a chance to get some idea of how supportive they really are!

If not, get back on the university website and track them down. They may even have their own section of the site, detailing the range of services they provide.

Maybe they organize special events and workshops, offer language-learning support services, or run mentoring or host-family schemes. Most universities also run a special induction program for new international students, to help them get orientated and settle in.

4. See how international the faculty is

As well as checking how many international students the university has, you could also see how internationally diverse the staff members are. This is another of the measurements used in the QS World University Rankings to assess ‘internationalization’ (the ‘IF’ score given to each university).

You can ask students about this, and again check the website – if international diversity is something the university has been especially successful in achieving, then it will probably boast about this somewhere the site!

And of course you can also browse through the staff in different departments – often a brief biography is given for each faculty member, so you can get a quick idea of where they come from.

5. Look at the course content

Finally, you might want to try and find out whether the university’s claims to be ‘international’ are really reflected in the learning experiences it offers.

You might find some clues here in the course content – though this will probably be more obvious in some subjects than others. For instance, if you’re studying literature, politics, geography, sociology (or any other arts, humanities or social science subject), are there opportunities to specialize in a range of different cultures and societies?

As well as looking for cultural diversity in the content offered, you could also check whether any exchange programs or partnerships are in place. Are there opportunities to spend time in another country, or to collaborate on projects with those in another nation?

So, lots of research to do, but (yes, I know I always say this), worth it to make sure you get the study-abroad experience you really want.

And of course, it’s also worth remembering that the quality of your experience will also be largely down to you (see ‘Five ways to sabotage your own study-abroad experience’).

In the run up to the UN’s World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, find out how universities support and celebrate diversity.

On 21 May, events will be held around the world to mark the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, which was established by the United Nations (UN) in 2001.

The event is based on the UN’s Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, which states that “cultural rights are an integral part of human rights”. As a result, the Declaration says, everyone should have the right to communicate in the language of their choice, participate in their own cultural practices, and be treated with respect for their cultural identity.

These are clearly principles that could apply to all situations and aspects of life – and that certainly includes higher education.

Indeed, universities are well placed to lead the way in supporting and celebrating the cross-cultural exchange and dialogue the World Day for Cultural Diversity aims to promote.

So, how can universities fulfil the UN Declaration on Cultural Diversity?

Anti-discrimination polices at universities

Most universities have policies in place to guard against discriminatory treatment of any group of people – whether based on gender, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation or any other factor.

Further, many universities have an Office for Diversity and Equality, which provides a first point of call for staff or students who have any concerns about this, or who would like to help promote equal opportunities and treatment within the university.

Universities with large numbers of international students may also be aware of the need to make special arrangements for students with important cultural commitments.

For example, if an important deadline or exam clashes with a religious festival or period of fasting, universities can make allowances to ensure that students don’t have to choose between their education and their cultural identity.

Opportunities for intercultural learning at university

Some universities, particularly in the US, have made it a requirement for all undergraduate students to complete a certain number of modules in subjects relating to cultural diversity. This could encompass a huge variety of options.

At Saint Louis University, for example, students can choose from courses including world music, contemporary black America, psychology of oppression, post-colonial literature, US Hispanic theology, intercultural communication – and many more.

At other universities, opportunities for intercultural learning are optional.

For example, at the University of Pennsylvania (‘UPenn’) in the US, students can apply to participate in the Intercultural Leadership Program. This brings together a group of domestic and international students for a series of workshops and projects, with the aim of nurturing “an intercultural community of leaders who are ready to take on issues they are passionate about, learning more about communities different than their own, and make a lasting impact.”

The University of Pennsylvania also has an International Residence Program, which promotes intercultural exchange by encouraging students from diverse backgrounds to live together in a shared accommodation facility, and also to participate in a series of social, academic and cultural programs.

These include trips to major cities, musical and theatrical performances, sampling different cuisines, and opportunities for students to give presentations about aspects of their own culture.

This idea of promoting inter-cultural learning and exchange outside of the classroom underlies the International House movement, which currently has 15 members, spread across the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, New Zealand and France.

These facilities range in size from 100 beds at the international student house in Washington DC, to a whopping 5,700 beds at the Cité Internationale in Paris. Each international house is run independently, but with a shared mission: “To provide students of different nationalities and diverse cultures with the opportunity to live and learn together in a community of mutual respect, understanding and international friendship.”

Special events and celebrations

Check most university events calendars, and you’ll probably find a large selection of cultures represented.

This may include events to mark particular festivals, events focusing on certain cultures or aspects of culture – for instance, a night of Ethiopian music and food or an international film club – and also week- or month-long programs of events.

At the University of Nevada, Reno, the university’s Annual Intercultural Month takes place every April to May, featuring events to celebrate the range of cultures represented at the university.

This extensive program is driven not so much by large numbers of international students, but by the ethnic and cultural diversity that exists within the US.

Acknowledgement of diversity within a shared nationality also forms part of the Diversity Week program at Leiden University in the Netherlands. In October 2011, this featured a ‘subcultures fashion show’, in which the catwalk was taken over by groups ranging from ‘goths’ and ‘skinheads’ to ‘nerds’ and ‘skaters’.

This light-hearted event was accompanied by more serious explorations of cultural diversity, including workshops on intercultural communication in business and within the law, and a screening of documentary film Religion connects! Religion connects?

Meanwhile, Rhodes University in South Africa schedules its International Week for 19th-25th May – to coincide with the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

The week kicks off with students and staff joining for a colorful parade celebrating a wide range of cultures, followed by a concert in which groups are invited to share part of their culture through a musical, spoken or theatrical performance.

Sounds like fantastic fun, and just what the World Day for Cultural Diversity is all about. But of course, these kinds of special event are just the tip of the iceberg; on many university campuses, intercultural dialogue is a way of life – something that occurs in every lecture theatre, library and student dorm.

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