Identifying Barriers to Effective Intercultural Communication
By: Kathy McKeiver
The United States remains a top study destination for international students, with over 764,000 enrolled during the 2011/12 academic year ("Open Doors Fast Facts," 2012). As this number continues to grow, students and staff are increasingly interacting with those who may not share the same cultural and social norms. This can be especially challenging to advisors with low intercultural competence or limited exposure to cultures other than their own. However, if we are open to the challenge, students and staff can make great gains, both personally and professionally. Intercultural interactions provide many benefits, but only if we are open to confronting the barriers that may hinder our success.