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Scientific Integration of International Students
Past Events

Overview of the past events

Introductory workshops in the orientation week (October 4-7th, 2016)

During the orientation week, the project team offered three introductory workshops for the international students at the TU. In three separate sessions, we discussed some basic aspects of intercultural communication related to the student life at a German university, and shared insights into differences between academic cultures and modes of both verbal and non-verbal interaction in a cross-cultural perspective. With the growing numbers of international students in Chemnitz and the increasing pace of cultural diversification of the campus, successful and mutually enriching intercultural communication is steadily becoming one of the central challenges for all the university members. The three workshops focused on the issues of space, time and communication represent an introductory stage in the extracurricular course programme dedicated to the theories and practical skills of intercultural competence in academia (junior professorship for intercultural competence) that addresses both students and university staff.

Academic integration: Introductory workshops for late arrival international students (November 21st -25th, 2016)

The decision to take up studies abroad is a milestone on the way of one’s professional career and personal development. It involves a far-reaching adjustment of a personal conduct of life, triggers multifarious learning processes and often brings about a change of perspective. Studying abroad not only means attaining particular scientific knowledge but also entails the exploration of a new country, acquisition of a new language and numerous new acquaintances. Furthermore, in the course of study itself one does not simply learn theories and professional skills that might be just the same elsewhere. Social, historical, and cultural differences in the organisation of university structures, modes of daily communication on the campus, methods of teaching and learning approaches, stances towards scientific knowledge, and ideologies of science greatly vary across national systems of higher education and have likewise to be ascertained and taken into consideration by all actors involved. In order to facilitate this academic journey of discovery, on which we will be glad to assist you in the future, too, our project team has prepared three introductory workshops. These workshops (all three of them taking place in English) aim at the presentation and discussion of some crucial aspects of study life in a German university under a cross-cultural perspective. Feel welcome to participate!

Who can participate?

Whether you have just arrived in Chemnitz or have already been around for a couple of terms: you are most welcome to take part in one, two or all three workshops. The workshops are free of charge. Since the number of places is limited, we kindly ask you to get enrolled in the worshop(s) of your choice via e-mail: integration-esf@tu-chemnitz.de

When do the workshops take place?

The workshops take place on three different days during the ‘orientation week’ (October 4th-7th). The university Campusfinder programme will help you find the way to the respective location: https://www.tu-chemnitz.de/tu/lageplan/campusfinder/ or under
the following OPAL course: https://bildungsportal.sachsen.de/opal/auth/RepositoryEntry/12756025346

In order to enable a maximum number of students to participate, each workshop is offered twice. Feel free to choose either date which suits you best!

Workshop 1: Pace and space

Monday, November 21st 2016, 9:15 - 11:15, room 2/W040, Campus II.
Or Monday, November 21st 2016, 17:15 - 19:15, room 2/W040, Campus II.

As nice as it might sound at first, “up close and personal” actually means getting far more intimate with someone than the other might have wished for and implies a tactless trespass on personal borders. Yet the decrease of physical distance to someone – the literal “stepping too close” to another person – often entails a strong negative reaction, too. But where do the invisible borders of our personal space run? Are they just the same for everybody? How much body contact and proximity do different situations call for? We acquire this tacit knowledge intuitively from an early age and get taken aback when the borders of our “natural” personal space are ignored by others or, else, when people give us the feeling that we have stepped too close to them. Such unpleasant experiences frequently take place during the encounters with people from other countries, for the appropriate distance and the modalities of body contact vary considerably across cultures and societies. Should one shake hands with a university lecturer or, rather, just nod to her? Should one sit next to the fellow students or better find a seat across the table during team work? Does it leave a better impression if you spread out your belongings in the first row or should you rather opt for the back of the seminar room? – In this workshop, we shall discuss the impact of cultural differences on the feeling of personal borders and the use of space in different communication contexts.

Workshop 2: Communication style – communication with style

Wednesday, November 23rd 2016, 17:15 -19:15, room 2/W185, Campus II.
Or Friday, November 25th 2016, 9:15 -11:15, room 2/W185, Campus II.

Are you firmly convinced that “yes” should always mean “yes”? Have you ever found yourself wondering why your otherwise really nice foreign acquaintance is repeatedly ignoring your polite request or critical observation? Does never getting a reply to your e-mail from a university teacher make you go ballistic? Are you sometimes overcome by a feeling of not understanding your fellow students and, conversely, to be totally misunderstood by them despite your fluent mastery of common language? As manifold as individual reasons for such misunderstandings may be, it is often a different style of communication that causes all the trouble. Rules and patterns of personal communication greatly vary across the globe. In some cultures, it is generally considered impolite to make straightforward remarks, while in others, you risk to exasperate your conversation partner by beating around the bush. In this workshop we shall discuss, among other things, some basic issues worth keeping in mind when communicating in intercultural contexts.

Workshop 3: In time, on time, about time

Thursday, November 24th 2016, 9:15 - 11:15, room 2/W185, Campus II.
Or Thursday, November 24th 2016, 17:15 - 19:15, room 2/W185, Campus II.

Good time management during the study is one of the central prerequisites of the study success, while loss of time in that phase of life can entail further losses, not least of a financial character. Yet does a “good” personal management of time mean the same for everyone? Here, too, cultural differences can play a crucial role and lead to pretty unpleasant surprises in as much as every culture and society builds on their distinct “time ideology”. For many international students accustomed to different norms of dealing with time and time planning it often becomes a challenging task to make out the “time regimes” dominant in a new country and find a positive way of dealing with these. What understanding of punctuality should be observed as a rule of thumb? How much time should one generally budget for a meeting with a professor during their office hours? When is it usual to start with the preparation of a group presentation for a seminar? How binding is the agreed project schedule? Is formal small talk a mere loss of time or a socially valuable investment? – In our workshop, we shall discuss these and further questions related to the sense and use of time in academic settings.

Workshops during summer semester

Workshop 1: “Distance & closeness”

Tuesday, April 4th 2017, 18:15 - 20:00, room 2NK004 (Campus II). Language : English, trainers: Anne-Coralie Bonnaire, Özlem Konur

Workshop 2: “Communication styles”

Wednesday, April 5th, 18:15 - 20:00, room 2/NK004 (Campus II). Language : English, trainers: Anne-Coralie Bonnaire, Özlem Konur.

Workshop 3 : “In time, on time, about time”

Thursday, April 6th, 18:15 - 20:00, room 2/NK004 (Campus II).Language : English, trainers: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Gala Rebane, Jane Weßeler.

Language assistance classes "Akademisches Deutsch für technische Fächer"
In these language assistance classes, we shall learn a number of important skills, for instance giving a presentation and writing a scientific paper. Furthermore, we shall discuss topics which will help you with such study-related daily tasks as e-mail communication, meeting with the professor or applying for a student job. Instead of a dry, uninspiring course, our young and international lecturer duo offers a culturally plural and appealing language training course which encourages active participation.

Every week (April 11 - July 13), Tuesday, 19:00 - 20:30, room 2/316A. Trainers: Luis Meier, Jiayun Xuan.

Workshop „Written communication in academic cultures“

“How do I say this? How do I formulate my paper?” Not just a saying but an actual problem for a lot of students in academic life, especially for international students. Worry not: help is just around the corner as the project “academic integration of international students” offers a workshop on “Written Communication” on the 8th of May to help find solutions in written communication: emails to professors, writing a paper, etc. If this is just what you need; check out our project website for more information.

Monday, May 8th, 18:15 - 20:00, room 2/NK004, trainer: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Gala Rebane. Registration on OPAL.

Workshop „Spoken communication in academic cultures“

Wednesday, June 28th, 18:15 - 20:00, room 2/NK004, trainers: Luis Meier, Jiayun Xuan. Registration on OPAL.

Intercultural encounters in the classroom
Workshops for teaching staff

Summer semester 2017

“The silent Dao?” – Students from China in study settings

This workshop is dedicated to the discussion of challenges that often arise in study courses that are popular with students from China, and didactic strategies that help establish a collaborative and productive teaching and learning environment that takes into consideration the specific requirements of culturally mixed groups.

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Gala Rebane, Dr. Anne-Coralie Bonnaire, Thursday, June 8th 2017, 13:45 - 15:30, Room: 2/NK004. Working Language: German.

“Holy Temples of Science”? – Students from India at German universities

Students from India: misunderstandings and problems in the classroom – or challenges of intercultural competence that require new strategies of communication on both sides and lead to an enrichment of academic life on campus?

In this workshop, we shall juxtapose the perspective of German lecturers with that of their international students and discuss successful strategies of communication in study settings that are based on mutual understanding and appreciation.

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Gala Rebane, Dr. Anne-Coralie Bonnaire, Ashutosh Loyalka, Wednesday, June 27th 2017, 13:45 - 15:30, Room: 2/NK004. Working Language: German.

Intercampus: Internationalisation of university study environments

This workshop is dedicated to the major challenges of internationalisation processes involving curricula, examination forms and requirements, communication between teachers and students and the perceptions that they have of each other, and the specific challenges of international students’ life situations and the influence that these may have on their study progress. In this workshop we shall also present some central findings from the ongoing research that is being conducted at Chemnitz University of Technology on international communication and academic cultures.

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Gala Rebane, Dr. Anne-Coralie Bonnaire, Wednesday, June 28th 2017, 13:45 - 15:30, Room 2/NK004. Working language: German.

Intercampus: Internationalisation of university study environments

This workshop is dedicated to the major challenges of internationalisation processes involving curricula, examination forms and requirements, communication between teachers and students and the perceptions that they have of each other, e.g. the specific challenges of international students’ life situations. In this workshop we shall also present some basics to understand the definition of German academic culture and present some results from the ongoing research that is being conducted at Chemnitz University of Technology on international communication.

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Gala Rebane, Dr. Anne-Coralie Bonnaire, Wednesday, July 5th 2017, 15:30 - 17, Raum 2/W185.

Winter semester 2017/18:

“Holy Temples of Science”? – Students from India at German Universities

Students from India: misunderstandings and problems in the classroom – or challenges of intercultural competence that require new strategies of communication on both sides and lead to an enrichment of academic life on campus?

In this workshop, we shall juxtapose the perspective of German lecturers with that of their international students and discuss successful strategies of communication in study settings that are based on mutual understanding and appreciation.

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Gala Rebane, Ashutosh Loyalka, Tuesday, January 23th 2018, 13:45 - 15:15, Room 2/NK003. Registration via E-Mail: integration-esf@tu-chemnitz.de

Intercampus: Internationalisation of university study environments

This workshop is dedicated to the major challenges of internationalisation processes involving curricula, examination forms and requirements, communication between teachers and students and the perceptions that they have of each other, and the specific challenges of international students’ life situations and the influence that these may have on their study progress. In this workshop we shall also present some central findings from the ongoing research that is being conducted at Chemnitz University of Technology on international communication and academic cultures.

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Gala Rebane, Dr. Anne-Coralie Bonnaire, Wednesday, December 13th, 2017, 13:45 - 15:15, Room 1/367. Working language: German. Registration via E-Mail: integration-esf@tu-chemnitz.de

“The Silent Dao?” – Students from China in study settings

This workshop is dedicated to the discussion of challenges that often arise in study courses that are popular with students from China, and didactic strategies that help establish a collaborative and productive teaching and learning environment that takes into consideration the specific requirements of culturally mixed groups.

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Gala Rebane, Dr. Anne-Coralie Bonnaire, Thursday, December 14th, 2017, 13:45 - 15:15, Room 3/B002. Working language: German. Registration via E-Mail: integration-esf@tu-chemnitz.de