The 'Diverse Voices: Listening to International Students' DVD and training guide was launched by the Minister for Education and Skills on 11 June 2015 and is now available for purchase. It was developed over a three year period by the Irish Council for International Students (ICOS), bringing together the experiences and perspectives of a range of international students on living and studying in Ireland.
ICOS' intercultural awareness trainer Louise Staunton explains:
"ICOS has been offering intercultural awareness training to higher education academic and support staff over many years and there is a huge value to bringing the experiences and perspectives of a range of international students into such training as directly as possible. The 'Diverse Voices' training pack not only does that but also features many experienced higher education sector professionals discussing issues of best practice."
"Students and institutions embraced this project as participants and many months of filming and editing gave shape to interview segments on a wide range of themes, which are further explored in the 130 page training guide that accompanies the DVD, including participative exercises for use by facilitators."
"It is really an unparalleled resource for use across the sector. Intercultural competency is a skill increasingly required of all higher education staff to meet the needs of diverse student populations and this package now offers institutions a thoroughly accessible tool for their efforts to build receptive and empathetic environments for international students."
"Whilst the focus of Diverse Voices is on the Irish cultural context, the themes explored will resonate with anyone interested in intercultural competence development."
The resource pack is being made available free-of-charge to ICOS member institutions and also is available for purchase. A promotional edit and two sample chapters are available online.
The project was developed with support from the Department of Education and Skills.