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Course Title

The Culturally Competent Counselor: Enchancing Your Skills To Better Serve Diverse Students

Course Number

ISCA 903

Course Overview

International School Counselors recognize the importance of being culturally responsive when working with young people, as this is a fundamental aspect of our work in diverse settings. However, we may sometimes question whether a counselor from a similar background could be more beneficial in certain situations.

This course offers an opportunity to explore the research on culture matching in counseling relationships, specifically in the context of international school counseling. By considering different perspectives and findings, we aim to draw conclusions that are relevant and applicable to our unique setting. Real-life case studies of culture matching in international school counseling will also be presented, providing practical insights for counselors.

The course will take a student-centered approach, prioritizing the voices of students in international schools. Through interactive discussions and reflective exercises, we will explore ways to improve our intercultural sensitivities and overcome challenges in our work. You will come away with a 360 degree tool to measure your cultural competency and cultural humility specially designed for international schools.  

Through a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical applications, you will gain insights into how to navigate cultural differences, develop cultural humility skills, and cultivate a deeper appreciation for diversity and belonging needs. You will also learn how to foster a safe and inclusive environment for students from different backgrounds. 

Join us to enhance your understanding of culture matching in international school counseling and enhance your ability to support the diverse needs of your students.

As this course is training counselors, specific student standards will not be the primary focus.

B-PF 6. Demonstrate understanding of the impact of cultural, social and environmental influences on student success and opportunities

Intended Audience

For School Counselors with little or extensive experience in international schools

Essential Questions

What is culture matching in counseling relationships, and how might it impact the effectiveness of counseling in international school settings?

What does the research say about the benefits and drawbacks of culture matching in counseling relationships?

What are some real-life examples of culture matching in international school counseling, and what can we learn from these experiences?

What is cultural humility and how might we develop our cultural competency?

What are some practical strategies and resources that counselors can use to support the diverse needs of their students in international school settings?



Participants will have knowledge about:

Participants will be able to:

  • The research about cultural matching in counseling relationships - when is it particularly helpful and when is it less relevant?
  • Cultural humility and cultural competence in international school counseling settings.
  • The potential benefits and drawbacks of culture matching in counseling relationships.
  • Learn from other counselors about how they tackle these challenges and their experiences of working cross-culturally.
  • Consider ways to increase cultural competencies in your counseling practices.
  • Consider ways to support students from culturally diverse backgrounds.
  • Navigate cultural differences and effectively support students from diverse backgrounds.
  • Reflect and measure their own cultural biases and develop intercultural competencies that benefit both themselves and their students.

About the Facilitator