U of A Plus: Cross-Cultural Academic Learning Series


Have you noticed a difference in how your classes are delivered compared to your home country?

The U of A+: Cross-Cultural Academic Learning Series can assist you in understanding Canada’s academic culture. What is acceptable or not acceptable in your home country may differ at the University of Alberta.

The Cross-Cultural Academic Learning Series consists of lectures and workshops to assist you with navigating the U of A’s academic culture. Each session, offered by a U of A professor/academic staff, shares expectations of students in a Canadian educational setting.

Who Can Register?

International students from all faculties are welcome to register!

This Series Offers an Opportunity to Learn:

  • How to talk to your professors
  • How to use Library services
  • Communication practices to convey clear messages with success
  • How to work in groups
  • Concepts of critical thinking and academic integrity
Attend all sessions or pick and choose! 

Series Schedule 2021- 2022

Expectations and Accountability: Strategies for Success in an Academic Community

Monday, November 15, 2021
7 - 8 pm

Presented by: Chris Hackett, Student Conduct Officer, Student Conduct and Accountability Office

Join tonight's session at 7 pm 

International students may be surprised by some of the cultural differences they encounter in Canada. This session talks about how you should conduct yourself in your academic work and with the University community so that everyone has equal opportunities to succeed. Using stories, discussions and videos, the presenter will discuss strategies for academic integrity.

Read Facilitator, Chris Hackett's Bio
Chris Hackett is a Student Conduct Officer in Student Conduct and Accountability. His work focuses on creating a safe environment for members of the University of Alberta community and on protecting the integrity of University teaching and research. Before working in conduct, he worked as the Graduate Student Ombuds for the University and as a historian.

Previous Sessions

How to Speak to Your Professor

Professors want you to succeed! One of the keys to academic success is knowing when and how to talk to your professor. Learn how to get the most out of your interactions with professors both inside and outside the classroom.

Read Facilitator, Jack Zupko, Ph.D. Bio
Jack Zupko, Ph.D.—Professor of Philosophy. A graduate of Cornell University, Professor Zupko specializes in medieval philosophy, metaphysics, and the philosophy of religion. He has published numerous research articles and four books, including John Buridan: Portrait of a Fourteenth-Century Arts Master (Notre Dame), which was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Book of 2003, and, most recently, Duns Scotus on Time and Existence (with Edward Buckner) (CUA Press 2014), a translation and commentary on Scotus’ Questions on Aristotle’s De interpretation. Professor Zupko has served as a medieval subject editor for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy since 1998 and was Book Review Editor (2005-13) and Editor (2015-20) of the Journal of the History of Philosophy. He edited and translated Book III of John Buridan’s question commentary on Aristotle’s De anima, forthcoming with Springer. Professor Zupko received awards for his teaching while on the faculties of Emory University and San Diego State University. Before coming to the University of Alberta in 2013, he was Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at the University of Winnipeg.

How to Navigate and Use Library Services to Support Your Academic Life

Undergraduate and Graduate Sessions

We know that it is easy to find information, but finding appropriate information for your assignments and research can be complex and confusing. The University of Alberta is one of the largest university libraries in North  America and learning how to navigate is essential for your academic success. The U of A library staff can help, and they enjoy helping students like you! 

Attending this session will help you learn:

  • The many facets of our library system 
  • How it is different than just going online (e.g. Googling) 
  • A variety of ways to search our library (and other search engines, too)
  • Library locations and spaces for study and research. 
  • Useful amenities: e.g. textbooks to borrow, printing, computers to use
Read Facilitator, David Sulz's Bio
David Sulz is a friendly librarian often found at Rutherford library as well as around campus. He mainly works with people in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education but is interested in how information is used, found, and shared in all disciplines and in different ways. Don't be shy to contact him with questions; if he doesn't have an answer, he enjoys helping people figure out where to get an answer. He enjoys talking about music (esp. playing guitar), recreation (esp. hockey, squash, camping, biking, paddling), and culture.

A Dramatic Approach to Communication

Monday, October 18, 25, November 1, 8, 2021
7 - 8 pm

Develop an awareness of your potential to communicate with passion, power, and purpose by actively engaging in various exercises and learning how to enhance your vocal and physical expression range. You will develop an awareness of the cultural expectations in the Canadian classroom and discover ways to feel confident and relaxed and able to participate fully in your Canadian experience both on and off-campus.

Four sessions available; attend them all or pick and choose: 

Session One
It's Not What You Say; It's How You Say It—
attention to vocal and physical expressiveness.
Monday, October 18, 2021

  • Start with a short physical and vocal warm-up designed to connect to the breath and a sense of presence and mindfulness.
  • Introduction to the Tools for Vocal Variety; how to use them to find a varied vocal expression that communicates your message with clarity and purpose
  • Interviews and introductions, how to present information in a way that captures our interest 

Session Two
Who Are You Talking To? Why this is so important to your message and how you deliver it.
Monday, October 25, 2021

  • Start with a short physical and vocal warm-up focused on articulation.
  • Introduction to the Communication Triad and its relevance to every presentation you give
  • Explore different types of presentations, the considerations each requires regarding how the message and the purpose need adaptation for your audience. 

Session Three
How to Focus Our Attention, Setting the Stage For Your Presentation 
Monday, November 1, 2021

  • Start with a short comprehensive warm-up focused on gestural expressiveness.
  • Incorporate visual and audio strategies to enhance your presentation

Session Four
Speaking with Integrity for the Greater Good: Clarity in your message and your vocal and physical expression. Commitment to your purpose. Care for your audience.  

Monday, November 8, 2021

  • Starts with a short comprehensive warm-up that touches on incorporating attention to breath, resonance and articulation
  • Practice in the construction and delivery of material designed for a specific purpose. 
Read Facilitator, Michele Fleiger's Bio
Michele Fleiger BFA /MFA specializes in facilitating communication and presentation skills. She has worked with medical and scientific researchers, business leaders, civic leaders and artists. She has a keen interest in working with international graduate and undergraduate students in the fields of economics, arts, medicine, engineering, political science and business. She has devised workshops that encourage an embrace of personal narratives that ground all meaningful connection, a critical aspect of communication. She is a member of the Academic Teaching staff at the University of Alberta, Concordia University of Edmonton, and Portage College in Cold Lake and Lac La Biche.

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