While students prepared to return to their classrooms, Udo Fluck offered the first seminars for the 2022-23 academic year at the University of Montana. He has been part of orientation presentations for international students for the past two decades and this year is no different, with a presentation titled: Cultural Adjustment and Reduction of Culture Shock, to the new international students that have arrived at UM, getting ready for their start of fall semester.
In addition, Udo offered a seminar for the Montana Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA Pre-Service Orientation. Montana Campus Compact offers a mandatory training to all AmeriCorps VISTA members intended to provide them with an overview of AmeriCorps service, as well as to welcome new residents to the state of Montana and the Missoula community. 16 AmeriCorps leaders participated in the seminar. 13 individuals were from states with a shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean and California. Only three were from Montana! So, naturally talking to this group about what one might expect and experience when leaving one’s familiar surroundings and venturing out into more unfamiliar surroundings, seemed like an appropriate training focus.
The challenge for many students is the anxiety and feelings (of surprise, disorientation, confusion, etc.) felt when they have to operate within an entirely different physical, cultural or climate environment. The cultural adjustment process typically includes seven individual stages and individuals experience these adjustment stages differently, and the impact and order of each stage vary widely. Udo’s seminars provide a guideline of how to adapt and cope, and help make that transition more effective and efficient. Participating in the trainings, helps students to learn more about themselves and to develop greater confidence in their ability to navigate new situations. It also increases trainees’ knowledge, encourages them to see the personal and organizational benefits of cross-cultural competence, and increases their skill and capacity to work in, and with, diverse settings. Through cultural adjustment trainings, individuals also develop effective communication skills, are much more likely to motivate others, and are empowered to be culturally-sensitive leaders. Udo’s own diverse cultural background, education and experience make his cultural adjustment seminars, something the audience can easily relate to, apply and benefit from. Cultural adjustment seminars are part of Arts Missoula GLOBAL’s educational programming and services.
Read more about Arts Missoula GLOBAL here.