Spring 2017 Newsletter |

Looking forward to the future!

The 2016-2017 academic year is showing great signs of growth and new opportunities.  During this term we've continued our services in easing arrival into and providing tools for adaptation to the local Spanish culture for study abroad students from the US, Northern Ireland, Belgium, as well as South Korea. We got a chance to work for two different Masters programs, and initiated training for teachers in Madrid public schools. This is a plentiful Spring and we're expecting a bountiful Summer too!

Easing Adjustment into the Local Culture

Arrivals orientations and semester-long programs on intercultural competency

We're consolidating our expertise in providing cultural adjustment workshops and well as intercultural competency development sessions to students on study abroad programs. Some of our collaborations consist of workshops to help ease the transition stress of arrival. During these arrival orientations we highlight that while no two people go through the exact same patterns, by addressing and acknowledging stress indicators and coping mechanisms, students can learn to take charge of their own adjustment process. With the self-selected group of students on the Georgetown University program in Madrid we're working with individualized IDI® Guided Development Coaching to help each participant work at increasing intercultural competence as measured by using the Intercultural Development Inventory®. In other collaborations, workshops are structured throughout the term to provide instruction and reflection as students learn to manage various stages of cultural adjustment. Most importantly, we're helping students discover the transformative ability of study abroad on their own lives with regards to gaining a wider perspective on the world around them. In addition to the Georgetown University cohort, this term we've offered workshops to students from the Stetson University & Marist College Program in Madrid, the Middlebury College in Madrid Programs, international students partaking of the second edition of ¡Made it to Spain! offered through BeMadrid, Training Express' International Internship Program, as well as to students from South Korea and Belgium on programs offered at the Universidad Camilo José Cela. 

A workshop with students from the MIIS and Middlebury College programs in January.

Providing Intercultural Training in Masters Programs

MA in International Education Management, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

In January, Masters students came over from Monterey, California, to spend the month getting first-hand knowledge of the international education programs located in Spain. "Team Spain" was lead by Paige E. Butler, Ed.D., Assistant Professor of the MA in International Education Management, and Almendra Staffa-Healey worked with the cohort as well as individual students while they were in Madrid. Intercultural Understanding administered the IDI® and provided group as well as individual feedback on the results. We also delivered a presentation entitled "Study Abroad, the IDI® and Intercultural Competency Development." Additionally we partook of a study project conducted by two of the MA students designed to assist Intercultural Understanding with it's brand and with directions to improve the website. The results of the project will be rolled out soon, as we're going to be implementing the recommendations offered and will launch an updated website within the upcoming months.

Master in Human Resources Management, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

In March, Almendra Staffa-Healey conducted a session on intercultural competency as part of the Masters program in Human Resources Management of the Universidad Carlos III in Madrid. The title of the session was "Intercultural Competency in the Global Workplace," and was delivered to students from Spain, Sweden, Australia, China, the United States of America, Greece, Great Britain, Germany, and Ireland. The session explored the role of intercultural competency in the global workplace by means of a combination of experiential learning activities designed by Donna Stringer and Patricia Cassiday, as well as interactive lectures. Participants were introduced to techniques for achieving effective cross-cultural communication, and began the process of developing their own competency in this area. 

Personal & Professional Development with Teachers in Madrid Public Schools

CEIP Carlos V in Madrid

The 2016-2017 academic year brought a new collaboration with a public school in Madrid. A group of teachers at CEIP Carlos V in Madrid requested Almendra Staffa-Healey to provide training in Mindfulness. The project was approved in December, and in that same month the first of four sessions on the personal as well as professional applications of Mindfulness training began. The teachers and administrators who partook of the program from December to March received credits through the teacher training and development office of Madrid-Centre, the Centros Territorriales de Innovación y Formación (CTIFs). Almendra got the chance to train about 12 people in total, including the school principal, head of studies, as well as teachers from the pre-K and primary school tracks. This training focused on two main areas for development. One addressed on the Critical Moment Choice Point, which is when we become consciously determined to not fall into auto-pilot on how we react to situations that arise in our daily lives. The other was on increasing Emotional Intelligence (EQ) personally and with students in the classroom. Elements from the Personal Leadership, Making a World of Difference® methodology were included in each of the sessions. After this first collaboration, Intercultural Understanding is planning on exploring more possibilities across Madrid public schools in intercultural competency development, especially since the school system has seen an increase in diversity in its student population and there is great interest in building intercultural competence amongst teachers and administrators.

Getting Featured in the Personal Leadership Seminars Spring 2017 Newsletter

Personal Leadership Seminars

An integral part of Intercultural Understanding's competency training technique is based on the Personal Leadership methodology. This Spring, Almendra Staffa-Healey was featured in the PLSeminars newsletter. We thought it newsworthy to announce it here too!

Upcoming Intercultural Training Collaborations

University of San Diego Madrid Center

Beginning in May, and continuing in the Fall 2017 Term, Intercultural Understanding is pleased to announce a new collaboration with the University of San Diego Madrid Center. There will be two types of services. The first will include intercultural communication workshops for host families receiving US students in their homes. The second will be for for students upon arrival to aid them in adjusting to the local culture and to acquire skills to navigate the challenges and opportunities of a sojourn abroad. Additionally, we will be providing assessment with regards to intercultural competency development by means of the Intercultural Development Inventory®.

E·V·E Abroad

E·V·E Abroad offers business-focussed internships in wineries, or in wine and agricultural tourism organizations to provide university students with first-hand exposure to enology, viticulture, marketing, communications, event planning, design and hospitality management. In the Summer of 2017 they will be inaugurating their Fresno State program in Spain in order for students to gain a deeper understanding of the Ribera del Duero, Rueda, Jerez, as well as other wine regions. Intercultural Understanding will be offering an intercultural competency workshop as part of the arrivals' orientation focusing on adjustment and adaptation strategies, as well as techniques for effective cross-cultural communication in Spain.

Upcoming Events
Aligning Our Vision and Our Practice, for Parents

Intercultural Understanding will be offering a workshop to the parents of the bilingual public school Carlos V in Madrid on Personal Vision and it's alignment with our practice as parents. This workshop in Spanish will use Personal Leadership, Making a World of Difference® methodology to reflect upon the coordination between how we aspire to show up at our highest and best, and how we behave in our different everyday facets. Beginning with a mindfulness exercise, participants will then use the five core qualities of their personal visions to create a map that will guide them in understanding where their actions are aligned and where they need to focus on in order to coordinate aspirations with practice.  
Wednesday April 5th, 2017 from 5:00 to 6:30 pm
CEIP Carlos V, Calle Virgen del Val, 3 - Madrid
 [Closed Workshop for the Parents of CEIP Carlos V in Madrid]
Copyright © 2017 Intercultural Understanding SL, All rights reserved.

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