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The Center for Global Education promotes international education to foster cross-cultural awareness, cooperation and understanding. Living and working effectively in a global society requires learning with an international perspective.

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Orientation Courses


Spring 2006
University of the Pacific

Professor Gokcek
Office: George Wilson Hall, second floor
Office Hours: F 11-12 and F 2-5, and by appointment
Phone: 946-2707/e-mail:

Course Description
Cross-Cultural Training I is a course designed for University of the Pacific students who are preparing to study abroad.  The main objectives of this course are to provide each student with both the theoretical and practical knowledge that is necessary for a successful overseas experience.  Any time spent abroad or outside of one’s own culture can be both exhilarating and frustrating.  In this class we will address some cross-cultural issues that people living, studying, and working abroad face when overseas.  While the course is geared towards study abroad the overall idea is to enable students to acquire cross-cultural skills that will serve them well past the semester or year spent overseas.  The skills that students develop here will be handy in any environment, including but not limited to travel overseas and within the United States, as well as in the workplace.  The topics we will cover are: defining and understanding the concept of culture, different styles of communication (both verbal and non-verbal), excitement and anxiety in preparation for study abroad, culture shock, the perception of Americans outside of the U.S., pre-departure logistics, and the return home.  All those who complete this class will have the tools needed to be mature, sensitive and well-functioning Americans in any cross-cultural setting. 


  • DeVita and Armstrong.  Distant Mirrors
  • Kohls, Robert.  Survival Kit for Overseas Living
  • LaBrack, Bruce.  “What’s Up With Culture: On line Training Resources for Study Abroad” at

Course Requirements

  • Attendance and Participation (10%):  All students are expected to be at every class.  If a student needs to miss class and has a legitimate reason (e.g., medical or family emergency) with proper documentation he or she will be excused.  However, anyone with excessive amount of absences should not expect to pass this course.  Attendance alone does not count for participation.  During the second half of each class several students will lead class discussion on that week’s readings.  Discussion leaders will prepare (typed-up) talking points on the topics covered in the reading to promote an intellectual conversation.  At the end of class those talking points will be submitted to the professor.  Students not leading discussion are still expected to come prepared to class to respond to the issues raised by the discussion leaders.  This portion of the grade is based on how well each student performs as both discussion leader (5%) and as an active participant over the semester (5%).
  • What’s Up With Culture Exercises (10%): Complete, print out, and hand in each week two exercises from Module 1 of the on-line training resource, “What’s Up With Culture”.  Exercises are due at the beginning of class.


  • Essay 1 – “Why I Want to Study Abroad” (20%): On Wednesday, March 29th, each student will submit a five-page paper on his or her reasons behind the decision to study abroad.  Any student that is planning to study abroad should treat the experience as a privilege and not a right.  When studying abroad each student will be representing not only the University of the Pacific but the United States of America.  Therefore the paper should aim to answer the following questions.  How have your previous experiences lead you to make this decision to study abroad?  What are the justifications for this decision?  What do you plan to do while you are abroad?  How will you represent the university and the U.S. in your host country? What do you hope to gain from this experience?  Once you return home how do you plan to utilize everything you learned while you were overseas?  This is an academic paper and should be presented in a manner consistent with university-level writing.  This means the paper should be organized around an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.  There should be no spelling and/or grammatical errors.  If sources are used then they must be cited in full to avoid plagiarism. All papers should be typed, double-spaced, with one-inch margins and font equivalent to Times New Roman 12.
  • Essay 2 – Country specific research paper (40%):  On Wednesday, May 3rd, each student will submit a fifteen to twenty page research paper on his or her designated country for study abroad.  If the study abroad experience includes more than one country then focus the paper on the first destination.  This is an academic paper and should be presented in a manner consistent with university-level writing.  In other words, present it in essay form, eloquently written for someone curious to learn more about that particular country.  In addition to both academic and non-academic sources students must incorporate knowledge acquired about the country from one interview.  The interview could be with someone who is originally from that country or with someone who has spent considerable amount of time living there and is familiar about life there in general.  There should be no spelling and/or grammatical errors.  Since this is a research paper all sources, including the interview, must be cited in full and included at the end in a separate reference section.  All papers should be typed, double-spaced, with one-inch margins and font equivalent to Times New Roman 12.


The paper should have six sections to familiarize the student with his or her country. 
1) A brief history on the country: Is this a former colony or a colonial power?  How long has this country been independent?  Have there been many wars?  Who were some of its well-known leaders and why?  What is an interesting event from its past?
2) The politics of the country: What is the type of government/regime in place?  Has it transitioned from a dictatorship to a democracy?  Who are the current leaders in office? Is there a president or a prime minister?  Or both? What are the different political parties?  Is there universal suffrage?  What are the current issues of political debate? Is it a member of most international organizations or a signatory to all international treaties?
3) The economics of the country: Does it operate on free-market principles? Or is it socialist based?  What are the unemployment and inflation rates and why are they above or below U.S. rates? What is its currency? Who are its major trading partners? What are the major industries? What are some of its natural resources? Is it running a trade deficit or surplus? How is the infrastructure?
4) The social conditions: What are the conditions for minorities? How are women treated? What is the attitude toward male/female relations and those that have alternative sexual orientations? What is the role differentiation among family members? What is the educational system like?
5) The customs and traditions of this specific culture: What are some customs that are specific to this culture?  What are the national holidays? What are the specific well-known foods?  What is the type of traditional dress associated with this culture? Who are its famous artists or literary writers? What is the national anthem?  What type of music is specific to this culture? What are the different languages spoken in this country? What are the different religions practiced?
6) The geography and environment: What is the topography?  How is the climate year-round?  Are there many lakes and rivers?  What is the highest peak?  What are the major urban areas?  Are there any environmental hazards?

  • On-line workbook (10%): On Wednesday, April 12th, each student will submit an on-line study abroad workbook, which can be found at This workbook requires each student to compile a great deal of information. Please DO NOT put this off until the last minute. Waiting until the last minute will not leave enough time to collect the information required in completing the workbook.  Print it out and begin completing it right away so that by April 12th all required information will be entered.


  • Interview (10%):  On selected dates each student will participate in a ten-minute interview with the professor. The point of this interview is to assess each student’s cultural competency and to evaluate his or her overall readiness for study abroad. 

Learning or Physical Disabilities
If you need accommodations because of a certified learning or physical disability, you must contact the learning Disabilities Support Office or the Disable Student Services Office in Bannister Hall each semester to inform them of your schedule and need for accommodation.  Be aware that professors are kept on a “need to know” – your privacy is maintained, we are only told what we need to know to accommodate your learning needs.

Honor Code
You can find the Pacific Student Honor Code in the Tiger Lore.  Please read it carefully.  If you violate the Honor Code you will be reported to Student Life.  You may eventually end up with an F in the course and a suspension from the university.   

Course Schedule

Week 1

  • March 1:  Introduction and Pre-Departure Orientation

Week 2

  • March 8: What is culture? How do we recognize a culture?

        Reading:  DeVita and Armstrong, chapter 3 and Kohls, chapters 6, 7
       Due: What’s Up With Culture Exercises 1.1 and 1.2.1

*Note: There will be no class on March 15 (spring break) and March 22 (professor will deliver a paper at the International Studies Association annual meeting in San Diego)

Week 3

  • March 29:  Cross-Cultural Communication

        Reading:  DeVita and Armstrong, chapters 7, 9 and Kohls, chapter 17
                  Due: Essay 1 and What’s Up With Culture Exercises 1.2.2 and 1.6.3
Week 4

  • April 5: The Cross-Cultural Classroom

        Reading: DeVita and Armstrong, chapter 15 and Kohls, chapters 1, 2
        Due: What’s Up With Culture Exercises 1.3.4 and 1.4.2
Week 5

  • April 12:  Culture Shock

        Reading:  DeVita and Armstrong, chapters 10, 17 and Kohls, chapters 18, 19
                  Due: On-line workbook and What’s Up With Culture Exercises 1.3.2 & 1.7.2

Week 6 

  • April 19:  What is the U.S. Culture?  How are Americans perceived?

        Reading: DeVita and Armstrong, chapters 5, 6 and Kohls, chapters 3, 4, 8, 9
      Due: What’s Up With Culture Exercises 1.5.1 and 1.5.4

Week 7

April 26:  Cross-Cultural Simulation (will take up most of the class time)
      Due: What’s Up With Culture Exercises 1.4.4 and 1.4.5

Week 8

  • May 3: Final Preparations and Thinking About The Return Home

        Reading:  DeVita and Armstrong, chapters 1, 16 and Kohl’s Postscript 1 and 2
        Due: Essay 2 and What’s Up With Culture Exercises 1.5.3 and 1.6.4

NO LATE PAPERS AND/OR ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED!  Plan and manage your time very carefully. 

*Note:  The University of the Pacific requires that in order to study abroad a student must pass CCT I with minimum a “C” grade or better.