UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

International house on the University of British Columbia campus McCombs, Arthur Rae


International House at the University of British Columbia is directed towards promoting understanding and goodwill among students of all countries attending the University of British Columbia. With the fostering of more friendly international relationships and world peace as an aim, the House has assisted the students and the University in handling academic and social activities of an international character. As International House has developed over the past twenty years, its programs and activities have reflected student, University and community interest and involvement. The orchestration of programs and activities consonant with these interests has been central to its development. This study attempts to provide information relating to the development and functions of International House on the University of British Columbia campus by attempting to identify major thrusts in its development and significant trends in its activities. In order to further clarify the use and functions of the House, this study also attempts to identify the 1970-72 student clientele and provide a rough weighting of student opinion regarding International House programs and activities. To provide information on its development, an investigation of available documentation related to International House is supplemented by open-ended interviews with selected persons associated with it. Examination of program bulletins, booking arrangements and student questionnaire responses is undertaken to expand upon and obtain data on the nature and character of International House programs and activities and students' opinions of them. Major findings: 1. The prime concern of International House has been the programs and services it offers to interested Canadian and non-Canadian students as well as University and community people. 2. Little substantial, co-ordinated or continuous research of a supportive nature is available to improve, shape and aid International House programing. 3. Problems of program balance associated with the co-ordination of student groups appear to have been a recurring concern throughout the development of International House. 4. Strong community participation has been evident in the sponsorship and support of International House programs but, with few notable exceptions, the integration of community groups and organizations into International House programing has been difficult. 5. A regular, continuing educational programing component is not evident. Academic research has been initiated but not sustained. 6. The service function of International House has been important. Within the limits of its particular student and community resources, and complemented by other University advising facilities, International House has attempted to meet student needs by offering small but important student-oriented counselling and other services. 7. The majority of users of International House in 1970-72 were non-Canadian students who attended once or twice per term. On the basis of questionnaire responses, Canadian students appeared to hold a more favourable impression of International House than non-Canadians, but like non-Canadian students, expressed concern regarding ethnic group seclusion, the paucity of Canadian student participation and programing balance between academically and socially oriented programs. Recommendations From a consideration of the data, the following recommendations are made: 1. That International House develop and maintain a system of program evaluation to support that research which would be useful in shaping future programs of the House. 2. That International House achieve a balance between its formal and informal, academic and social, group and individual programs. 3. That International House attempt to gain funding to reactivate its research committee in order to provide basic information for a better understanding of cross-cultural programing. 4. That International House clarify the specific nature and extent of its service functions in order to concentrate its resources on those most essential. 5. That International House clarify the "image" it wishes to portray, develop appropriate programs, and then initiate a publicity campaign to advertise its programs and activities.

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