Cultural considerations

It may be helpful to consider the cultural context of your students when creating WIL opportunities. Different cultures offer rich and diverse skills to work experience which may be pleasantly surprising. Leadership, public speaking, Purakau (storytelling), and teamwork skills can be strong in some cultures and WIL may be the perfect outlet for those skills. Many cultures value community projects and the work within it highly which increases intrinsic motivation. Students may gain value from involvement in Marae work or other non-profit organisations which is also an opportunity to find experiences for students given our small population and business sector. It can be a way to build bi-cultural competence and global awareness into your curriculum in a meaningful way.  

 Bicultural competence values are outlined in the diagram below



cultural considerations

As with many of our students, you may need to consider how students will adapt to travel, family responsibilities, costs, and parental expectations. Students values and prior experiences may be different, even how they work in groups may seem different. For example, Western cultures suggest that everyone in a group contributes equally whereas many indigenous cultures recognise that it is more practical to use peoples strengths in one area and use them less in another. Being aware of these differences and acknowledging different ways of working and adapting is important.

There are many hidden aspects to culture as shown in the cultural iceberg model. Use the iceberg model to identify barriers and challenges people of other cultures may encounter on a WIL experience.