Building cultural intelligence in the classroom

International students smiling

Learn how international students can leverage cultural intelligence in the classroom to be better equipped to work in the modern workplace.

In the modern world, the need for global collaboration is becoming increasingly crucial as your future career path could take you all over the world. The ability to navigate diverse cultural landscapes is a growing necessity. At Torrens University our student mix is made up of students from over 125+ countries, creating a diverse classroom environment for all students.

What is cultural intelligence?

As the Harvard Business Review states, cultural intelligence is often defined as an outsider’s seemingly natural ability to interpret someone’s unfamiliar and ambiguous gestures the way that a person's fellow citizens would, linking deeply with emotional intelligence. Being able to relate across cultures helps to foster a creative and cohesive team dynamic; which is essential in almost all career paths.

Why is cultural intelligence important?

Cultural intelligence enhances students' ability to collaborate with colleagues from different cultural backgrounds, ultimately contributing to the success of international projects and initiatives. Culturally diverse teams can help see problems from new and various perspectives, which aids in fostering innovation and development. Culturally intelligent employees are beneficial to companies everywhere and developing your skills could set you apart from other candidates.

How cultural diversity can strengthen collaboration?

We know our students are a force for good in the world and by having a diverse student body, we create classrooms rich in cultural diversity that stimulate dynamic conversations and interactions centred on cultural intelligence. We incorporate the learning and importance of cultural intelligence in many of our course curriculums, which strengthens our students' abilities to work collaboratively and become potential leaders in the future who champion global perspectives.

You can hear first-hand what our international students have to say about their experience in Australia.

Anshul Sethi from India

“In India the concept of ‘work-life’ balance is nonexistent; thus, the work culture differs quite significantly from Australia. A ‘9-5’ job in Australia equates to a ‘9-7’ in India, where monthly salaries not hourly pay prevail.”

International student on stage

Anshul is studying a Bachelor of Business (Marketing)

“Both my parents’ dedication in their ‘9-7’ jobs taught me the importance of a strong work ethic. As an international student, I assimilated lessons from my culture into the classroom; reshaping the narrative from ‘the harder you work, the luckier you get’ to ‘the smarter you work, the luckier you get.’”

Studying abroad has taught me resourceful skills like cultural intelligence and combined with the strong work ethic instilled by my parents with the work culture back home, I am better equipped for my future career.”

Ronnie Albano from the Philippines

“My work experience in aviation and hospitality, and being exposed to different cultures in the classroom has taught me how to be a valuable team player; building connections and friendships that have served as my support system while studying in Australia.”

International student with a dog

Ronnie is studying a Master of Business Information Systems

Cultural intelligence empowers international students to handle diverse challenges, foster friendships and adapt to a global community, setting themselves up for long-term success in an interconnected world.

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