Tag Archives: professional growth

Resource: The Peace Corps’ Culture Matters Workbook

I was introduced to this wonderful workbook in one of my University of British Columbia’s Certificate in International Development classes. No matter what you think of the Peace Corps, it’s a great resource. The workbook breaks down culturally driven values and behaviors in American and other cultures. It’s incredibly thorough and yet easy to understand. I most appreciated the self-assessment quizzes and the lists of behaviors that reveal a culturally-determined value. Want to know… Read Article →

Unpacking Culture

I’ve started Certificate in International Development from UBC! Currently I’m enrolled in Culture, Communication, and Development. The homework this week was to unpack your own cultural identities. A sort of self-reflection. Mine is below. My homework: The cultural identities that most strongly influence me are nationality, generation, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, socio-economic status, religion/ spirituality, family/ marital status, and voluntary group identification. (By voluntary group identification, I’m referring to the peer… Read Article →

A bird flying in the sky.

6 Things I’ve Learned about Cross-Cultural Staff Development

Tomorrow I’m going to a small town on the Indian border to lead a three day training. I’ll be teaching from the Ministry of Health’s handbook on counseling skills to use with patients with substance use disorders. Staff development has been the most interesting and rewarding part of my assignment here. The Bhutanese educational system is new. Prior to the 1950’s education only occurred in the monasteries. The teaching style… Read Article →

Reflections on 10 Months as a School Counselor in Bhutan

Guest post by Moira Herbert, BSW University of Sydney I’m a social worker/ youth worker from a small town in Australia. Last year on a whim I applied for an ad I was sent over Facebook. At the time I truly believed I had nowhere near the level of experience that was required, but I thought it would be good to experience the interview process. Three months later I found… Read Article →

A bird flying in the sky.

Intercultural Sensitivity Part 2: Ethnorelativism

In my last post on Dr Milton’s Model of Intercultural Sensitivity, I wrote about ethnocentrism. Today let’s examine the final three: the ethnorelative stages. The first of these is acceptance and is characterized by learning. As with all learning processes, acceptance can be at times rewarding or uncomfortable. First, the reward of acceptance. During this stage, there is calm curiosity, and learning gains momentum. Each new piece of information is… Read Article →

Intercultural Sensitivity Part 1: Ethnocentrism

Difficulties with self-assessment can be a barrier to improving cultural competency and can contribute to feeling overwhelmed. It’s helpful to use a framework to understand where you are and where you need to go in this learning process. The model that resonates most strongly with me is Dr. Milton J. Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS). The model is comprised of 6 stages. Today we’ll talk about the first… Read Article →

Two hikers on a trail in the mountains.

A Journey Toward Cultural Competency

Cultural competency is of special interest to international social workers. It refers to the ability to effectively work with people from other cultures, either clients or colleagues, through acceptance, adaptation, and integration.   Cultural competency is both a set of skills and a way of being. Click To Tweet   I try to regularly reflect on my practice so that I can learn from my experiences. Lately I’ve been considering… Read Article →