The Language and Culture Center(LCC) continued its partnership with Dr. Veronique Tran’s Office for UH Quality Enhancement Plan which provided logistical support and candidates from Tier One Scholars in offering the classes for Cultural Connection. These classes were facilitated by American scholars who were hired as cultural guides for international students from levels four, five and six at the LCC http://www.uh.edu/class/english/lcc/index.php. Five Cultural Connection classes were first offered during the Spring semester with great success. This semester, there were nine classes offered from 12:30 to 1:30 and again from 5:30 to 6:30. Nine scholars were trained in the Culture Bump Approach to dealing with differences and guided the international students in learning basic information about perceptions, culture bumps, communication styles and emotional intelligence.
However, the classes and “walkabouts” where students and guides roamed the University of Houston campus together, led to conversations about friendship, life and other nuances of life in the USA that are not covered in textbooks!
Mei says, ” I like this class because I can practice speaking and we can share opinions and learn something I didn’t know.”
“We learn different things about different cultures and I got close to my classmates. This class helps us to be close to each other”, says Hilal.
But it is perhaps best expressed by Abdulkarim who says, ” Come with us, we have Americans.”