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Teaching International Students

NC State faculty are increasingly interacting with culturally diverse classrooms. Over 4,000 international students are currently enrolled at NC State from more than 100 different countries. Engaging such a broad range of perspectives and contexts in the classroom can create a number of challenges and opportunities for faculty.

Tools for a Diverse Classroom

The following resource pages were developed to support the teaching, research, and service goals of NC State faculty by providing insight and practical tips for engaging diverse student populations.

Emphasis is on the experience of international students, particularly those who are non-native speakers of English, in U.S. classrooms. However, the principles explored here can also be applied to any set of faculty and students who are engaging within an unfamiliar cultural environment. Faculty leading or advising domestic student participants on education abroad or instructing a diverse domestic population on campus will find the tools provided here useful.  

The content found here is grounded in research, best practices, and the experiences of professionals from NC State’s Intensive English Program and Office of International Services who interact daily with international students and the faculty who support them.

4,000+ international students from 100+ countries

Our world-­class faculty and internationally renowned programs draw outstanding students from across the globe.
Meet some of the international students making NC State their home.

It bears noting that while we may speak of international students as a single entity, this group is anything but homogeneous. An international student might speak English as a second or third language, or English might be her native language. An international student might have already spent years studying in the U.S., or NC State might be his very first experience in the country. There is tremendous variation within our international community, and each student will encounter their own particular challenges in the classroom.

These resources are therefore designed to be a starting point for considerations and conversations. They are designed not as an exhaustive study in culture, but rather as a means of approaching some general patterns that have been observed, while also recognizing that each student, each classroom, and each faculty member’s situation is unique and should be approached as such.