News and Events

On Campus: Culturally Aware

November 20, 2014

Written by Mark Keller, director of college advancement
Featured in "On Campus" in the Medicine Hat News

It is just about impossible to ignore the fact that we live in an inter-connected, global community.

Need proof? Drought in California affects the price of fruit in store shelves in your local store. The growth of online commerce in China means 20,000 Canadian lobsters are bought in a single day. One girl’s selfie with a ground squirrel amuses millions around the world.

Doubtless you can think of hundreds of other examples that show the local, even personal, impact of events and innovations that take place around the world. Clearly, if we’re impacted on a global scale, we need to think that way too.

This isn’t a new concept. Years ago, working as a freelance writer, I interviewed a pair of business consultants who earned their living helping executives build the cultural skills they would require working outside of Canada.  The tips they provided fostered business success by generating awareness of cultural etiquette and comfort.

When Medicine Hat College fosters international experiences on campus, we’re doing just that: helping students prepare for career realities by enabling global connections and exchanges.

This happens all the time. International students visit MHC to develop language and career skills. While they’re here, they naturally share some of their culture and get an immersion experience in Canadian life. When local students journey afar, they take Canadian culture with them and return with enhanced awareness of the world around them.

Even so, this week is special because MHC, along with colleges across Alberta, is celebrating International Education Week.

The first obvious touch point is the world flags in the cafeteria. In their colour and diversity, they are reminder of the world around us. It is a worth a visit just to see which nations you can identify.

The celebration takes a different approach with lectures and activities going on all week. These include a Ping Pong tournament, an Origami demonstration conducted by Japanese students, a talent show offered by international students from many places, and a fashion show, too, showcasing traditional clothing.

Local students will be able to discover the opportunities they have to travel and learn in other countries.

We’ll also be hosting, ‘The Connection’ an intercultural association operating in Medicine Hat. Year-round social events and inclusion programs provide Canadians and international people (newcomers) a platform to meet and build meaningful relationships.

The world is yours at MHC.

Visit to learn more about your college, contact Mark Keller with your questions at or follow him on Twitter @mark_mhc.

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