Category: Wellbeing

How emotional intelligence improves cross-cultural classroom communication

“Emotional Intelligence covers five major areas and serves as a gateway to educational and career success”

Educators need keen emotional intelligence (EI) to manage the ups and downs of classroom life. Their ability to control and respond positively to their feelings enables them to act as role models for their students. This principle remains true even when cultural constructs throw up communication roadblocks.

International educators face barriers of both verbal and non-verbal language with their students. Exercising EI lets them check their immediate responses to external stimuli. It allows them to step back and consider the learner’s perspective and prevents them from making snap judgments.

This awareness gives them the requisite mental pause to reflect on the cultural influences on behaviour.

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Generation Greta: education & the global climate crisis

“A student could do 10,000 hours of contact time in the classroom, and only hear about environmental issues or discuss the effects of climate change in ten of them”

Barnaby Sandow, Head of School at ACS International School Cobham, asks how we can re-focus our approach to education to realistically frame the growing global climate crisis.

Environmental education is not consistent in the UK. Whilst it encompasses multiple topics and skills, environmental education has no defined syllabus or structure, which means in practice, it’s a subject matter that ‘falls through the gaps’.

It’s entirely possible that a student could do 10,000 hours of contact time in the classroom, and only hear about environmental issues or discuss the effects of climate change in ten of them. As each #FridaysForFuture protest passes, it’s starkly obvious that we need an education ready to support ‘Generation Greta’.

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The importance of community in international student accommodation

“Even in accommodation which is specifically for students, it is possible for young people to feel isolated”

Where you live is an extremely important aspect of international student education. Living arrangements do have an emotional impact on students, whether they realise it or not.

For international students who are coming to study in the UK for the first time, the experience of living abroad can feel overwhelming. Most will be far away from friends and family, embarking on an entirely new chapter in their lives.

Cultivating a sense of community within halls of residence and private accommodation is therefore extremely important, particularly for those which are marketed towards international students.

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Why food really matters to international student well-being

“Importing ingredients that help make a ‘local’ dish truly authentic can make a huge difference to students”

Most of us happily take it for granted that we will be able to buy the food we like when we want to. For international students coming to study in the UK, access to the food they like to eat is not a given so schools and colleges that see the true importance of food as a way to; ease homesickness, increase social interaction and improve general well-being should be applauded.

Recent research puts the issue into perspective

Masters student, Erika Stewin undertook research on “food insecurity” issues among international students at two Canadian universities. Her research found that “many students described experiencing food insecurity, students related feelings of depression, homesickness and identity loss, hunger, difficulties with weight loss or weight gain, and stories of being forced to compromise religious beliefs in order to eat.”

So, how can institutions do their very best to ensure food is seen as a crucial aspect of pupil/student wellbeing?

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