The global nature of the Parsons Paris campus and the School brings many challenges. Students require a unique set of intercultural knowledge and skills in order to effectively understand why their fellow students think and behave in the way they do.
They need to learn how to anticipate different approaches that they may encounter when sharing a room or working on a team project; they need to learn new ways to behave and communicate in a global environment.
“We chose Learnlight because we felt that we had found a partner that understood our needs. We felt that we could work together on developing the content and we also felt that Learnlight was very reactive.”
Whilst students communicate in English, for some of them it may be their second or third language. Parsons Paris want to help their students avoid misunderstandings resulting from a lack of cultural sensitivity and ensure expectations are managed.
Although Parsons Paris staff are experienced with working with people from other cultures, the School had never offered formal development in this area before they collaborated with Learnlight. They recognized that an external provider would be best placed to address their students’ needs and ensure they settled into life at the School as quickly as possible.
The key challenges were identified as:
- Equipping Parsons Paris students with a sound understanding of both their own and their fellow students’ cultural make-up
- Increasing students’ understanding of culture and its impact on both their academic and personal life
- Raising awareness of differences in behaviors and communication preferences to enable students to work effectively together
- Helping students to develop strategies to integrate into Parsons Paris life successfully
Parsons Paris needed a partner that thoroughly understood the needs of their learners and could deliver effective intercultural training to this unique population. The training partner needed to structure the solution carefully and provide a safe environment where students felt that they could express themselves freely without judgment.