Developing Fruitful Communication: How to Lead Culturally and Linguistically-Diverse International Students With Emotional Intelligence

Developing Fruitful Communication: How to Lead Culturally and Linguistically-Diverse International Students With Emotional Intelligence

Rakha Zabin
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8921-2.ch011
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To smoothly transition to the educational platforms and integrate into the new country, especially after the heinous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, international students need adequate support from the leaders of educational institutions. Leaders not only refer to the administrative leaders but also include the teachers who lead these students in their regular classes. Leaders may also refer to their peers and even the students themselves, who make decisions about their own lives and lead themselves. The toolkit of emotional intelligence (EQ) is valuable for all leaders because it is a multifaceted ability that helps individuals apply the power of emotions as a source of trust, communication, and influence. This chapter focuses on an account of the learning experience of one international doctoral student's transition within a new cultural context. Self-reflection on the hurdles experienced and the importance of respectful communication during the evolution to becoming an international doctoral student in Ontario informs the analysis.
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The evolution of the internationalization of higher education in Canada is happening at a rapid pace, which is worthy of attention (Guo & Guo, 2017; Heringer, 2020; Knight, 1997; Knight, 2003). Every year, many international students are flying to Canada from all over the world to pursue their future academic and career goals in a multicultural, global setting (Knight, 2015). It is true that international student enrollment in Canada has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic (International Consultants for Education and Fairs, 2020; Keung & Teotonio, 2020), as most of the universities are moving into an online format (Ross, 2020). International students who are already here are also going through severe challenges, being a vulnerable minority, and bearing the impact on their well-being during the current global health crisis. Wong et al. (2020) interviewed three international students from India, the Netherlands, and Mauritius, and they shared how they have been continuing to study and stay connected to their classmates and families during this critical time of the pandemic. Staying connected and having effective communications stands as a vital source of support for these international students.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Empathy: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Internationalization of Higher Education: The process of integrating an international, intercultural, or global dimension into the purpose, functions, or delivery of postsecondary education.

Mindfulness: The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

International Students: Temporary residents who come to a foreign country from anywhere in the world to pursue education.

Hurdle: An obstacle or difficulty.

COVID-19: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Emotional Intelligence: The capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.

Transition: The process or a period of changing from one state, or condition, to another.

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