Intercultural Intersections in International Education: Reflective Practices through Dialogue is a webinar series by leading international and Canadian practitioners that provides an opportunity for you to critically reflect on your own theories of practice, and the institutional structures in which they work.

You will learn and explore new ways of knowing to inform your professional practices and personal values in a way that aims to foster a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for all. As the nature of working in international education is ongoing, this series supports your continuous improvement and development. The collection of speakers and their insights is intended to serve as a launching pad for deeper and more complex conversations in our communities and abroad.

Certificate of Completion

To receive a certificate, you must watch the Foundation Modules and submit reflections on five out of the nine webinars via this form to Two of your five reflections must be for the first and last webinar of the series. Submissions will be reviewed for completeness and clarity of how the material applies to your personal and professional experience in international and intercultural education.

Foundation Modules − 120 Min

The content in these modules offer a foundational and basic introduction to some intercultural concepts that are critical in the field of international education. As this is rudimentary, some of the complexity within the concepts is not addressed, and the topics are not addressed in their entirety. However, the intention is that the topics in the webinar series will invite a more fulsome consideration of the concepts. We invite you to dive more deeply into any of the topics that inspire you during your continued educational journey.

This course has four modules that build on one another. Please note that:    

  • The learning is self-directed.
  • The approximate time per section is 20–30 minutes.
  • We recommend keeping notes about your thoughts and writing responses to the reflective prompts throughout this course and the entire webinar series.

Defining Culture and Socialization

Learning outcomes

  • Upon completion of this module, you will be able to recognize intercultural concepts and terminology that are foundational to intercultural development in international education.

Read and watch

  • The word culture has a rich history of meaning and as such, it can mean different things to different people. As a basic level of understanding, culture can be defined as the characteristics of social groups to which we belong that influence our thinking and behaviour. Socialization refers to the process of how we come to understand a culture’s norms, values, and beliefs.
  • The iceberg is a common metaphor for the ways in which culture impacts us. Notice how the majority of the ways in which we are influenced lie below the surface.
  • This booklet provides some working definitions as a starting point for conversations and contemplations in your work in international education. These key terms and concepts are the foundations that the upcoming modules build upon.
  • Consider the following practices outlined in this infographic.


  • How does international education make you aware of your own deep culture (below the surface of your cultural iceberg)?
  • What are your three top values as an international educator? Where do you think they come from? See Brené Brown’s list of values.
  • What is your internal response when someone does not value what you say, do, or think? How is this different or similar to when someone identifies with what you say, do or think?

History and Models in Interculturalization

Learning Outcomes

  • Upon completion of this module, you will be able to recognize intercultural concepts and terminology that are foundational to intercultural development in international education.

Read and watch (video 1)

  • Internationalization has threads of interculturalization throughout its history of development. By understanding the historical aspects, you will have a critical understanding of how things got to be the way they are in the present. Read this infographic for an introduction to some of the historical influences on international and intercultural education.
  • Watch the first video about current models of internationalization and try to connect them to the historical influences identified in the infographic above.


  • Use Warner’s Framework and reflect on the models of internationalization that you feel align to the approach within your institution.

Read and watch (video 2)

  • There have been several shifts in recent years in both international and intercultural education. In the second video, Todd Odgers describes the recent phases of interculturalization. As you listen, consider where your own institution might have been influenced. Read this infographic to learn about the recent phases of interculturalization.


  • After listening to the brief history on interculturalization, what stage(s) and characteristics align most closely to your institution’s approach to international education?

Intercultural Urgencies in International Education

Learning outcomes

  • Upon completion of this module, you will be able to critically investigate issues and barriers to inclusive interculturalization that are present in international education.

Read and watch

  • The field of international education, and education as a whole, face increasing calls to consider the ways that power and privilege inform experiences and access in the field. The issues that are presented in this module, while only introductory, are still complex and will take sustained commitment to learning.
  • Note: At this pivotal time in history, we invite you to consider the way we name things that need addressing. Over time words such as ‘problems,’ ‘issues,’ or ’challenges’ have been used in reference to changes needed in the field of education. We use the term ‘urgencies’ as it invites us all to take action in addressing the ways international education can reform.
  • Recall from Module 2 (the Historical Influences infographic) that education has been informed through the dominance of Western models of education and the strong ties to colonialism. The system of education has these critical urgencies carved into educational practices, policies, and norms.
  • As you read through this booklet please keep in mind that these definitions are meant to be a starting point as most of the concepts are complex and require an ongoing commitment in order to understand the urgencies in a fulsome manner.


  • Which are the four most urgent issues for you as international educator? Why?
  • Is there a concept that you are interested in learning more about? What steps can you take to start this process?

Emotional Literacy and Strategies for Intercultural Development

Learning outcomes

  • Upon completion of this module, you will explore emotional literacy concepts and strategies to enable ongoing management of uncertainty and change in the fields of international and intercultural education.

Read and watch

  • Engaging with complexity, uncertainty, and change can trigger a stress responses. Growing your intercultural capacities requires that you are able to manage and work with your emotions in more nuanced ways.
  • Consider how in your ongoing intercultural development you will face moments and opportunities to go beyond your comfort zone. You may have experienced some of this in module three exploring issues of bias, stereotypes, racism, and so on. Committing to your intercultural development requires emotional stamina as you will be asked to push against entrenched behaviours, values, and beliefs both in yourself and in our society. Read this infographic to get a sense of what might come up as you extend beyond your comfort zone.
    Emotional literacy requires self-awareness, an ability to self-manage or regulate, and ongoing reflective practice to process your full spectrum of emotions. Watch the video for more insights.
  • The dominance of Western ways of knowing and being can sometimes mean that we have been taught that success means we should always be ‘in the know’. When left without much awareness, as we work on intercultural development, there is sometimes a defensive reaction to questions about our own way of doing things or thinking of things. Cultural humility is essential to countering defensiveness and cultivating an openness to learning more deeply from each other. Read the infographics on emotional literacy and humility.
  • Consider the following strategies to support your intercultural growth and development.


  • How were you taught to manage your feelings? Were emotions valued? How does the way you were taught to manage emotions come into play in your professional practice?
  • Reflect on a recent time when you experienced a degree of discomfort when trying to engage across cultural differences. What was your response in the moment? Would you change anything about how you responded? If you didn’t practice pausing, would that have helped?

Term 1 Webinars: Investigating the Self

A Conversation About Intercultural and International Education's Current and Future Direction

Panelist: Kyra Garson
Moderator: Todd Odgers

What is the current landscape of intercultural practices and its intersections with international? How did we get to where we are today? How can these new approaches lead to new understandings and methodologies that better support our students and make our practices more just for our students and communities as a whole? 

A Critical Intercultural Approach to Developing and Reimagining Your Programs

Panelists: Eduardo Contreras, Darla Deardorff, Justin Wilson
Moderator: Todd Odgers

With the onset of the pandemic, we, as international educators, have had little choice but to re-imagine what our programming looks like, particularly from a student perspective. Along with a seismic shift in how we deliver educational content, the pandemic has also exposed societal inequities embedded in both local and global systems. The continued relevance of the Black Lives Movement has reminded us all of the urgency to address historical and ongoing systemic oppression and prejudice through the work that we do as educators. In this webinar, panelists will explore and propose critical questions that we should be asking ourselves as we develop and/or re-create our international programs to ensure that we are not perpetuating cycles of intersectional oppression through our practices. 

Building an Inclusive Workplace Through Intercultural Understanding

Panelists: Monroe France, Moussa Magassa
Moderator: Todd Odgers

As international educators, we often strive to create inclusive and supportive learning spaces for our students, and yet, we frequently do not take the time to ensure that we are also creating this space for ourselves and our colleagues. Critical self-reflection is crucial to intercultural learning and understanding. If we are not doing this in our own work environment, how confident can we be that we are providing the space for this for the students we support? In this dialogue, our speakers will discuss ways that we can be more self-reflective in our workspaces to ensure that we are creating more inclusive spaces in our international offices for everyone.

Term 2 Webinars: Putting Theory to Practice

Placing Intercultural at the Core: A Case Study

Panelists: Daryl Smith, Yusuf Varachia, Carolyn Wing
Moderator: Todd Odgers

To kick off the new year, we will have an opportunity to hear from an institution that has been building intercultural into the core of their international programming and the very foundation of the institution itself. Practitioners from Langara College will share best practices and lessons they learned through this experience, how this initiative has continued to evolve during the pandemic, and plans for future growth. 

The Intersection of Race and Intercultural on our Campuses

Panelists: Olivia Zhang, Kumari Beck
Moderator: Todd Odgers

For some international students, their arrival in Canada is the first time that they have had to negotiate new racial identities. It may also be the first time that they have had to confront prejudice, discrimination, and microaggressions that can come along with these new identities. In this session we will discuss how race and intercultural intersects on our campuses in BC and how we can integrate intercultural understanding, social justice, and conversations about race into our support systems and programming for our students.

Internationalization and Indigenization: Tensions and Collaborations

Panelists: Dr. Sonja Knutson, Kory Wilson
Moderator: Todd Odgers

Following the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action (2015), BC released the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (2019) reaffirming the Province’s commitment to work towards reconciliation. It is our responsibility as international education practitioners to ensure that we are, and continue to be, dedicated to reconciliation in all aspects of the work that we do. In this session speakers will explore points of collaboration and tensions between internationalization and indigenization and provide suggestions on how we can continue along this path towards reconciliation.

Aligning Policy with Practice: International, Intercultural, and EDI

Panelists: Rohene Bouajram, Derek Tannis
Moderator: Todd Odgers

Over the last year, there has been a growing recognition of the need to be more collaborative in the work that we do on and off campus and in the virtual world especially as it relates to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) work. In this session, speakers will share insights on integrating policy with practice, ways they are working to bridge gaps between EDI and international, and provide frameworks and suggestions for creating a more inclusive environment for all.

A Closing and an Opening

Panelist: Kyra Garson
Moderator: Todd Odgers

For our final session of the series, we will welcome back Kyra Garson, who will join our intercultural series moderator, Todd Odgers in an interactive reflection of past presentations. Participants will have a chance to share how they plan to apply their learnings in their practices and will leave with additional resources to continue their intercultural journey.

Bonus: Black History Month Keynote Speaker

Panelist: Minnijean Brown-Tricky
Moderator: Todd Odgers

Minnijean Brown-Tricky changed history by striding through the front doors of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. As a member of the Little Rock Nine, she helped desegregate public schools—a milestone in civil rights history—and alter the course of education in America. Her talks are a sweeping exploration of social change and a reminder that the fight is far from over. She has received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal, the Spingarn Medal, the Wolf Award, and a medal from the W.E.B. DuBois Institute, among other citations. Under the Clinton administration, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Interior, for diversity.