Involvement in international projects and educational trips provides Extension staff with professional development in understanding different ways of working and communicating and an appreciation of differing values and beliefs. Accompanying this understanding is the personal growth which results from looking inward at one's own beliefs, values and ways of working and communicating.
Involving MSU Extension staff in international projects and training opportunities provides individuals with the professional and personal growth opportunities below.
By situating Extension activities in a different global context, participants will:
- Recognize the ways in which perspectives on agriculture and Extension programming are informed by different cultural frames of reference;
- Link educational programming efforts to cultural and local realities; and
- Identify personal values and ethics that impact the ways in which Extension can serve the local community.
By focusing on personal growth, participants will also increase their cross-cultural competency, including their:
- Ability to communicate effectively and respectfully across cultures;
- Tolerance for ambiguity and uncomfortable situations;
- Introspection on their own values and cultural perspective; and
- Appreciation of differences without judgement.
Anne Baker, Learning and Talent Development Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org.