Jul 18, 2018 By G. John Cole
Summer is the perfect time for reading! Whether you are using the lull between summer and autumn sessions to catch up on all the news and developments in international higher education, looking for an inspiring read to get you ready for new challenges, or aiming for something lighthearted yet meaningful to take to the beach, our Summer Reading list has you covered.
And now that you’re fully prepared for the practicalities of your international arrivals, you can use your summer reading time to find inspiration and exciting new strategies for communication – both within your team, throughout the university, and with incoming international students.
Check out the list below for seven great reads for your summer holiday and the year to come!
"Did You Get My E-Mail? An Exploratory Look at Intercultural Business Communication by E-Mail,"2 by Davis, Anne S., Leas, Penny A., Dobelman, John A., in Multinational Business Review
Get a thoroughly academic take on the science of communication with this lengthy article from Multinational Business Review which starts from the basis that email is by no means a universal culture.
Looking into email practices in different regions, the paper goes on to suggest positive ways in which to deal with misunderstandings when they arise. Summer reading or not, this is an essential read for anyone who works in an international setting.
Ciao, America!: An Italian Discovers the U.S., by Beppe Severgnini
If he never quite makes it to the heartland of America, Severgnini’s odyssey to Georgetown, Washington D.C. is a lighthearted look through European eyes at the baffling culture of the USA.
Like most visitors who’ve learned about America primarily through TV, music, and films, the Italian reporter is caught off-guard by the giddying mix of the sublime and the ridiculous that characterizes everyday life in the so-called ‘Land of Opportunity.’
Mix and match with Bill Bryson’s I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away (2000) for the full picture!
And if you thought Americans were strange…
People say that if the Germans are too honest to be polite, then the Brits are too polite to be honest, so Kate Fox’s zoological approach towards the eccentricities of the English seems entirely appropriate for the decoding of those stir-crazy islanders!
You’ll learn why the weather is never off-topic, why everyone’s always sorry, and why ‘not bad’ means ‘good’ while ‘quite good’ means ‘a bit of a disappointment.’
The Hidden Dimension, by Edward T. Hall
Have you brushed up on your proxemics lately? The science of personal space is not only crucial to everyday interactions but to the successful cohabitation of individuals from wildly different cultures.
A classic of the cross-cultural communication canon, this is one to quietly namedrop in the next conversation you have with a passing academic. And for those who want full emersion, follow this read with Hall’s The Silent Language (1973) and Beyond Culture (1976).
The Hundred-Foot Journey, by Richard C. Morais
Hassan Haji and his family relocate from their family restaurant in Mumbai to a sleepy town in the French Alps, creating sparks when their new Indian eatery comes up against the celebrated French bistro across the street.
A novel (and then a 2014 movie) rather than reportage, Morais' prose is thick with the subtleties of intercultural miscommunication – and the wondrous things that can happen when such obstacles are embraced and overcome.
You’ll want to shake the sand out of this one and keep it under your work desk when summer’s over. Reynolds and Valentine have created a complete guide on how to cope with the challenges of an international role.
The latest edition even contains sections on communicating through today’s digital platforms and how to talk to millennials!
Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds, by David C. Pollock, Ruth E. Van Reken
Third culture kids (TKCs) are those students who've spent their lives to date drifting from culture to culture with their parents or spending a significant part of their childhood living abroad.
In many ways, these experiences prepare the TCKs for international higher education – but your communication with these born nomads will still benefit from the insights provided by Pollock and Van Reken.