Leveraging Common Ground: Improving International and Domestic Students’ Interaction Through Mutual Engagement

  • Victor Thomas Simon Fraser University
  • Joseph M Ssendikaddiwa Simon Fraser University
  • Martin Mroz Simon Fraser University
  • Karen Lockyer Simon Fraser University
  • Karin Kosarzova Simon Fraser University
  • Carolyn Hanna Simon Fraser University
Keywords: collaboration, common grounds, cross-cultural learning, engagement, mutuality

Abstract

Leading institutional pedagogies and practices tend to approach increasing international student populations from a deficit-based model, which focuses on the adaptation, acculturation, and assimilation of international students to the dominant host culture. We believe a better approach to improve international and domestic students’ interaction is to move to models of mutual engagement. In this article, as practitioners, we explore four common grounds that seem to be producing positive engagements: common experience, cultural celebrations, faith, and common challenges, in which students are encouraged to meaningfully engage with each other as equals in a spirit of mutuality. The resulting discussion explores how each contributes to a culture of collaboration within institutional departments while improving and enriching the interactions between all students.

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Author Biographies

Victor Thomas, Simon Fraser University

VICTOR F THOMAS, MSc., is the Director & Head Chaplain of the Interfaith Centre at Simon Fraser University. His mandate includes the oversight of the faith services, supports, spaces, and engagement on campus. His research interests include student wellbeing, faith & religion on campus, food security, and sustainability. 

Joseph M Ssendikaddiwa, Simon Fraser University

JOSEPH M SSENDIKADDIWA, is an undergraduate student at Simon Fraser University in the Health Science Faculty. He is interested in health systems and public policy research as well as pedagogical paradigms. 

Martin Mroz, Simon Fraser University

MARTIN MROZ, MSc., CPA-CMA, is the Director of Health & Counselling Services at Simon Fraser University. His mandate includes clinical health services, counselling services, health promotion, and mental health strategies, primarily with a focus on students. 

Karen Lockyer, Simon Fraser University

KAREN LOCKYER, MA, RCIC, is an International Student Advisor at Simon Fraser University. Her mandate includes the delivery of services and supports for students from international pathways. 

Karin Kosarzova, Simon Fraser University

KARIN KOSARZOVA, MEd, RCIC, is the Manager of International Student Advising and Programs team at Simon Fraser University. Her mandate includes delivery of services and supports for students from international pathways. 

Carolyn Hanna, Simon Fraser University

CAROLYN HANNA is the Director of International Services for Students at Simon Fraser University. Her mandate includes international learning abroad, intercultural student engagement programming, and services and supports for students from international pathways. 

Published
2018-07-01
How to Cite
Thomas, V., Ssendikaddiwa, J. M., Mroz, M., Lockyer, K., Kosarzova, K., & Hanna, C. (2018). Leveraging Common Ground: Improving International and Domestic Students’ Interaction Through Mutual Engagement. Journal of International Students, 8(3), 1386–1397. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v8i3.61
Section
Research Articles