Teaching Cross-Culturally

This web page is specifically designed and written for American Faculty who teach and advise international students.

In addition to the written material on this web site, OIS has partnered with NC State Professor Heidi Hobbs to prepare a video presentation on explaining U.S. academic integrity standards to international students. To view this presentation click below:
 U.S. Academic Integrity Standards.

The entire power point presentation used by Professor Hobbs in her video presentation is available here for download: Explaining U.S. Academic Integrity Standards to International Students.

NC State University recognizes the invaluable contribution of international students to its goal of being a leading center of learning in a globalized world. This university does not invite and accept students from around the world with the purpose of changing their identity or cultural character. Naturally, each student will be asked to adapt and learn the intricacies of the American higher education system. They will be held to the same standards as their American counterparts. However, in order to make this university a truly culturally proficient place, it is important to recognize the responsibility of American Faculty in minimizing cultural barriers by being aware of the cultural differences, and taking time to explain American teaching methods, academic integrity policy, and NC State’s academic standards in a manner which international students will comprehend.

The chief (initial) barrier to cultural proficiency in an instructor is lack of awareness of the need to adapt. A professional faced with such a barrier may be under the impression that the only people who need to adapt are the international students or scholars, instead of recognizing that creating a culturally proficient learning environment requires change from all parties involved in the learning process. A culturally proficient instructor has, in addition to having a good command of their subject matters, a variety of teaching techniques available to convey the content. In applying different approaches, the instructor not only recognizes the need to adjust to different learners, but also teaches the student to adjust to different learning styles and succeed in a variety of settings. In preparing the subject matter with cultural differences in mind, the instructor creates a course which will provide for equitable learning opportunities. A very important aspect of becoming a culturally proficient instructor is to understand one’s own culture as well as the perceptions of this culture.

In the following sections, the major American cultural values which are represented in teaching and academic integrity have been concisely summarized. Embedded in each paragraph, you will find examples of frequently occurring misconceptions between NC State faculty and international students. In the second section, you will find a summary of guidelines to minimize the cultural barriers in your classroom. In the third link below, you will find a list of resources you can provide to your international students relevant to achieving academic success at NC State University.

American Cultural Values Represented in Our Teaching and Academic Integrity Policy

How to (Practically) Minimize the Cultural Barriers in Your Classroom


– Arthur, Nancy. Counseling International Students: Clients from Around the World. New York, NY: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2004. Print.
– McIntire, David, and Patricia Willer, eds. Working with International Students and Scholars on American Campuses. Washington, D.C.: National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, Inc., 1992. Print.
– Nuri Robins, Kikanza, Randall B. Lindsey, Delores B. Lindsey, and Raymond D. Terrell. Culturally Proficient Instruction: A Guide for People Who Teach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin P, Inc., 2002. Print.