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How Cross-Cultural Dialogue Builds Critical Thinking and Empathy

KQED News Mind/Shift – Katrina Schwartz

“The world and the people who work and live in it have become ever more connected as the internet becomes more accessible. Yet despite the ability to connect and learn about happenings on the other side of the globe, many communities have become more polarized and entrenched in a particular worldview. As these trends emerge, teachers are looking for ways to foster productive dialogue skills in today’s students — the generation that will have to deal with complex, increasingly global problems.”(more)

Training the skills needed for a global world – Shi Wenjing

“International talent has been THE buzzword in education for years. Cross-cultural communication and language skills, as well as the ability to adapt to different cultural settings have become the must-haves for top college graduates. The demand for Sino-foreign universities has increased as China opens up further to the rest of the world…19-year-old Haider is from Pakistan and is a sophomore student at NYU-Shanghai. He has just come back from a service trip from a remote county in China’s Guizhou Province, and is sharing stories of his unique experience with his team. The group built a playground for a local primary school…On the other side of the campus, Chinese student Yao Xiaoyun is experiencing her first class of interactive media arts…Yao said, “Living in this cross-cultural learning environment, I got the chance to learn how to respect the differences – between different cultures. And I also learned how to think independently in such a diverse environment.”…Xu Qiwei is in his last year at school. He is majoring in mechanical engineering…”I think our four years here has provided us with an international foundation that is needed in today’s world.””(more)

Naples student heads to China for intensive language training

Collier Citizen – Lance Shearer

“”They told us to bring a gift for our host family — but be sure it’s not something made in China,” said Nick Lamb. The concept illustrates some of the cultural currents the rising Naples High sophomore will navigate this summer, as a U.S. State Department scholar in Sichuan Province, China. Nick will have intensive Mandarin classes six hours a day, all while living with a local Chinese host family and speaking nothing but the local tongue. Nick’s merit-based scholarship, officially known as the National Strategic Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), is part of a U.S. government initiative that prepares outstanding American students to be leaders in a global world…The NSLI-Y program seeks to increase the number of Americans who can engage with native speakers of critical languages. The goals of the NSLI-Y program include sparking a life-long interest in foreign languages and cultures, and developing a corps of young Americans with the skills necessary to advance international dialogue and cross-cultural opportunities in the private, academic and government sectors.”(more)

Amal Clooney Is Helping Lebanese Girls Get An Education

The Huffington Post – Willa Frej

“International human rights lawyer Amal Clooney wants to increase educational opportunities for fellow Lebanese women. She has partnered with 100 Lives, an organization seeking to educate people on the Armenian genocide, to annually award a scholarship at the United World College in Dilijan, Armenia. Winners will enroll in a two-year international baccalaureate program…”This scholarship will give young women from Lebanon the opportunity of a lifetime,” Clooney said in a statement. “Cross-cultural learning and studying abroad can be transformative.””(more)