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Cross Cultural II: Reentry

Course Description:

This is a seminar for those recently returned from living outside the US. It was originally initiated at the suggestion of Pacific students to assist people with "coming home" and students have had input into its design ever since. It is not group therapy, although some, including the instructors, have found it useful that way. It is not just a place to swap "war stories," although that happens, too. More fundamentally, it provides all of us who have lived in a foreign culture-and have to return to our native one-with the opportunity to try "to know what we know" about ourselves, our cultures, and others, and to be able to generalize this knowledge to develop our capabilities to better cross (and work across) cultural difference. Towards these ends, the course provides us with an academic forum in which to continue our reflections on: (1) the foreign experience; (2) the often odd, sometimes painful, and almost always unexpected process of cultural re-adaptation; (3) the integration of our intense foreign experiences into our current intellectual and emotional lives; and (4) our thoughts about where we go from here in terms of career plans and job searches. It provides us with an opportunity to continue the cross-cultural learning process and to refine our skills in cultural observation, adaptation, communication, and application. Finally, I hope that it allows you to move beyond the shoebox or scrapbook approach to foreign travel and instead to use it as a springboard for a life of increasingly nuanced cultural learning.

Texts:

Never In Anger by Jean L Briggs
Figuring Foreigners Out by Craig Storti (This was also required for Cross Cultural Training I)
Peripheral Visions by Mary Catherine Bateson
"What's Up With Culture" website
Additional readings available through the course website on Pacific Sakai (sakai.pacific.edu).

Student-Generated Lists:

Advice for Returning Students

Resume Language for Study Abroad