Cultural Identity at Royal Roads University

Across August, September, and October of 2015, I taught a graduate seminar at Royal Roads University, located in Victoria, BC, Canada, as part of their Master of Arts in International and Intercultural Communication (MAIIC). The course was Contemporary Issues in Communication: Cultural Identity. The 38 students enrolled were quite international, as they came from China, Ecuador, Bangladesh, Barbados, and Canada.

On the last day of class, several students asked for photos, so here’s one, although not everyone was present at the time. Imagine another dozen added to the group.

IICS 638 class photo 2015

Students prepared small papers on their own linguistic repertoires, examined the ways in which living rooms can display cultural identity, prepared group presentations on case studies about cultural identity. Their major assignments were either applied group projects, or individual papers. The group projects included:

• Hosting an intercultural competence workshop for students in the Pre-Masters Program at RRU
• Designing a brochure for Hainan Drive Travel Association to give to Chinese tourists to Victoria
• Preparing a videotape in collaboration with Indigenous Education & Student Services at RRU about the Lklungen (Songhees) Nation for their own use in public presentations
• Preparing a videotape documenting differences between Chinese dialects for use in teaching Chinese to English speakers
• Creating pre-departure orientation materials for the Office of Global Advancement to use in preparing students, staff and faculty for a trip to Ecuador.

While at RRU, I was asked to participate in a public conversation, Communication Matters: Immigration from an Intercultural Communication Perspective. Dr. Juana Du, program head of the on-campus version of the MAIIC, served as host. Other participants were Lisa Selvey and Jingya (Celine) Yang, two students from the course. Follow the link to get to the video, which is now available on YouTube.

One of the highlights of my time at RRU was being able to watch Tom LaFortune carve a totem pole for the campus, and then attending the unveiling ceremony.

I posted last year about the beautiful campus, but this time I lived on campus, with peacocks in the front yard and deer in the backyard, a Japanese garden, and 650 acres of trails available for exploration. A few new photos follow. My thanks to Professor Du for inviting me to her beautiful campus to work with a fascinating group of students!

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

p.s. In November, Crossroads, the RRU internal publication, just posted a notice about one of the student projects in the course.

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Author: Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, the Director of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue, manages this website.

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