Cross-Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity Training in the Communications Management and Recruitment and Retention of International Students in Atlantic Canadian Universities

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MacIntyre, Genevieve Estella
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Mount Saint Vincent University
With the growing numbers of international students coming to study in Canada, cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity training in Canadian universities is increasing in importance. Despite the range of research in cross-cultural training, there remains a gap in the research of cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity training in communications management for multinational institutions, namely universities, within Canada, and how this training—or lack thereof—could affect the recruitment and retention of international students in the Canadian post-secondary education system. Focusing on Atlantic Canada, this study explored what cross-cultural training is currently offered and what sort of training should be offered to communications, marketing and recruitment teams that work to recruit international students and to International Centre staff and International Advisors that support these students. Through electronic survey research, this study aimed to compare the services offered and to share the opinions of communications, marketing, and recruitment staff members; International Advisors and International Centre staff members; and international students at targeted universities on the services that Atlantic Canadian universities do and should offer. Overall, the participants of all three survey groups claimed that there is a need for cross-cultural training through continuing professional development for communications, marketing, and recruitment staff; International Advisors and International Centre staff; and also for staff from other departments across the universities as international students do interact with faculty and staff other than International Advisors and International Centre staff throughout their time studying in Atlantic Canada.
communications , international centre , cross-cultural awareness , sensitivity training , recruitment and retention , international students , Atlantic Canada , universities