International Students & Academic Acculturation

Learn how international students think, and explore strategies to engage and motivate those who seem reluctant to participate in class.

Language proficiency isn’t the only barrier to academic acculturation. International students’ cultural background and prior education influence how they respond to the Canadian learning context. Students who seem silent or passive may be accustomed to very different expectations for academic participation. This session provides knowledge about the impediments that can discourage them from becoming active participants in their own learning and developing their potential.

Acculturation & Strategies for International Students

International Students & Academic Acculturation is part of a series of five interactive workshops about supporting international students. These sessions offer research-based intercultural teaching strategies, as well as guidance and support for challenges of sociocultural adaptation and language competency.

The sessions are presented by Academic Learning Services in The Studio for Teaching & Learning, and are designed and delivered by Muhammad Elhabibi, an Academic Learning Specialist who facilitates the language learning process for international students at SMU. Mr. Elhabibi has 35 years of teaching experience in multiple countries and learning contexts, including three Canadian universities. The series was originally designed for instructors, but may also be of interest to Saint Mary’s University staff who work closely with international students.

To request one or more workshops in this series, email

  1. International Students & Academic Acculturation

  2. Conversation Skills & International Students

  3. Academic Writing & International Students

  4. Emotional Attunement & International Students

  5. Cross Cultural Challenges in the Classroom