Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

ICOS launch Intercultural Awareness Training Guide at RCSI

19 June 2015

The Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) recently launched its Intercultural Awareness and Student Support Training Guide. Diverse Voices: Listening to International Students is an intercultural awareness training guide for academics and student support professionals. It was developed through a series of interviews with international students and staff in higher education institutions. Intercultural competence is now recognised as a highly valued skill. Its importance has grown in recent years and it is now considered an essential ingredient in the successful delivery of higher education.

Pictured (l-r) is Dr Ciaran Dunne, Editor of Diverse Voices; Professor Hannah McGee, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, RCSI; Ms Jan O'Sullivan TD, Minister for Education & Skills; Ms Louise Staunton (Author of Diverse Voices), Mr Nwafor Ezebuchi Hanachor (International student participant in DVD); and Dr Stephen Robinson, Champlain College and ICOS Chair
The guide which is delivered on DVD features interviews with international students. It focuses on their educational and social experiences as students in Ireland and the cultural differences which they have experienced. It also includes interviews with support and academic staff in higher educational institutions addressing some of the challenges they face in supporting this student body. The thematic sections explore Living in Ireland, Cross Cultural Adaptation, Teaching & Learning Issues, and Advice from HEI staff.

The launch of ICOS in RCSI's College Hall
Over 80 attendees from higher education institutes countrywide attended the launch which took place in the College Hall at RCSI. The event was opened by Professor Hannah McGee, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, RCSI. Jan O'Sullivan TD, Minister for Education & Skills was also on hand to launch the initiative and was welcomed by Prof McGee and Ms Sheila Power, Director of ICOS.
Ms Louise Staunton, Programme & Training Manager at ICOS and Dr Ciaran Dunne, Dublin City University undertook the mammoth task of producer/director/editor of both the DVD and accompanying guide. The project was funded with support from the Department of Education & Skills. 

Commenting on the event, Sheila Power said: ‘ICOS was delighted to be able to collaborate with RCSI on the launch of Diverse Voices. RCSI's strong history and reputation as an international education provider and its world class facilities made it a very appropriate location for the event. Diverse Voices will hopefully serve as a very useful resource for higher education institutions interested in best practice in international student support. We are extremely grateful to RCSI for its on-going support for ICOS' work and particularly for its generous support of our launch event".

ICOS is an national independent body that advocates for the rights of international students. It works closely with higher education institutions, international students, government agencies and NGO's in its mission to promote and improve the standards of good practice in international education.