Intercultural Communication

Experiencing the cultures of the world in our community at Washburn enriches us all in many ways. As we encounter some cultural differences in our relations on campus, we have the chance to learn, reflect, practice and grow.  Here are some steps that you can take to help improve your intercultural communication skills.

  • The first days in a new environment are confusing for all students. Please be flexible, tolerant and patient to understand the additional needs of international students. When facing a communication barrier, speak slower, not louder. Allow pauses and write things down. International students may not understand immediately and will be able to refer to it later if it is in writing.

  • Pointing something out on a map can help with communication. Use handouts, visual aids, and gestures.

  • Paraphrase or check for understanding. Repeat and recap as needed.

  • Smile. Ask about them: their name, where they are from and their travel experiences to arrive here.

  • Use simple language. Avoid idioms, jargon, and slang.

  • Try to display empathy in your tone of voice.

  • Listen actively.