||International Students, Study Abroad, General
|Length of Time
|Number of Facilitators
||1 total (per total number of participants)
|Source of Activity
||Increase student acquaintances, educate students of each other’s regions|
This activity is to encourage student participation in becoming acquainted with each other. Use it at student leadership conferences, international student orientation, or any workshop where the participants would benefit from meeting each other.
Step 1: A “quiz” of questions is drafted specifically relating to the audience in attendance. Only prior knowledge of participants’ home country and perhaps region or city is required.
Step 2: Create at least one question per country represented. Gather interesting trivia (current events, history, geography, etc.) from each country that the average international student may not know. Choose information that is neither too general nor too specific. The goal is to choose questions that the national would know of his own country but obscure enough that foreigners would not know off-hand. The more participants, the more questions.
Step 3: When the icebreaker is to commence, the moderator explains the guidelines, “You will have fifteen minutes [a modified time limit is permissible] to complete as many answers as you can. Try to fill out what you know and then inquire of the other students as to their knowledge of the answers. This is a group activity and this is a rare quiz where your answers can be shared! Be sure to greet each other, exchange names, even visit, before you make your inquiry. You need to meet at least 5 people [more or less as your group size permits]. I’ll indicate when the time has expired”. The moderator hands out the paper quizzes.
Step 4: The students stand and move about the room, meeting each other and completing their quiz. When the time expires, the moderator asks them to return to their seats.
Step 5: The moderator offers the answers to the quiz. The moderator should end by asking some debriefing questions (i.e., were you surprised at how many answers you knew or didn’t know? Were you able to make some acquaintances with whom you can speak later? Do you have more questions of someone else in the classroom about their region of the world?). Debrief afterward as to their impressions of what it felt like to not know as much as they thought they might about world trivia. Have this lead into their posture and attitude as they interact with nationals of whichever country they are now entering. This can be a cultural learning experience that reminds them to adopt an attitude of “learner” in this new culture they are entering.
Included is a sample quiz used in an international student orientation of a small institution.
Directions: Answer as many of these as you can. Then ask each person if they know one of the answers. Remember: obtain only one answer per person in order to meet more people in the room; do not just copy the answers off the sheet. This is an interactive experience.
- What is the Spanish word used in Argentine for the word “popcorn?”
- What is former President Clintons’s middle name?
- Name the most numerous ethnic group in Kenya. (This people group is one of the Bantu tribes.)
- What is the capital city of Liberia?
- In what year did India gain its independence from Britain?
- What are the people from New Zealand often called? (nickname)
- If you know what SPAM is, describe it.
- Name the state in Australia that is larger than the state of Texas.
- In what city in Brazil are the famed “Cataratas” (waterfalls)?
- In whose palace is the great Hermitage Museum located?
Program development timeline: none required
Basic budget: minimal cost. Under $5 dollar to produce printed materials
Advertising/communication methods: orientation packet, email, letter mail out
A brief evaluation of lessons learned (i.e. I wish I would have known...) by program facilitators during the implementation of the activity: I wish I would have known the exact participants attending in order to create questions pertinent to their region of the world. Better efforts will be made next time to detail who will attend. This will facilitate having questions most directly relating to the participants at hand. Also, be sure to have all the correct answers on hand. Participants were extremely intent on learning the answers to the questions they did not know.