Over the course of three days, University of Sydney students and Stanford University students will be participating in a series of video conferences developed to help them develop their intercultural communication skills. Working in small groups, these encounters give students the opportunity to explore intercultural communication and to engage directly and practically with the issue of audience and how arguments are informed by cultural assumptions and contexts.
They began their exchange looking at the following Australia Tourism ad:
After watching it, they considered the following questions:
• What rhetorical strategies and appeals do you see at work in the ad?
• How does the ad define Australia and Australians? How does it define America and Americans?
• Do these definitions seem at all problematic?
• Is it an effective tourism ad? To what extent is it an example of effective cross-cultural rhetoric?
They followed up on this moment of cross-cultural analysis by sharing presentations on their own projects, ranging in topic from analyses of editorial cartoons, to a virtual exhibit of Stanford culture, to research projects on gaming, humor, and global citizenship and leadership.
After the exchange, the participants were asked to comment on either the ad analysis, the presentations, what they learned about intercultural communication, or a surprising or memorable moment from their session. Below are their reflections.