Supervising Across Cultures

Following session is hosted in partnership through the Centre for Learning and Teaching and the Faculty of Graduate Studies at Dalhousie University.   This session is open to faculty and instructors only.

Dr. Nanda Dimitrov
Director, Teaching Support Centre
Western University

The session will explore strategies for supporting graduate students and supervisors who collaborate across cultures on international and interdisciplinary research teams, at the intersection of multiple cultural and disciplinary backgrounds and identities.  Students and faculty in these teams may hold vastly different assumptions about the nature of the supervisor/mentee role, have differing expectations for level of initiative or independence; and use different approaches to resolving conflicts and giving feedback. Using case studies and recent research on cross-cultural supervision, participants will engage in discussion of effective strategies that supervisors and administrators can use to facilitate collaboration between supervisors and students, as well as among students on diverse research teams.

Background readings that participants will find helpful in preparation or the session:

Dimitrov, N. (2009). The Western Guide to Mentoring Graduate Students Across Cultures, Western University Teaching Support Centre: London, ON. Available online at:

Skarakis- Doyle, E.  & McIntyre, G, (2008).  The Western Guide to Graduate Supervision. Western University Teaching Support Centre: London, ON.  Available online at:


Dr. Nanda Dimitrov is an educational developer and intercultural communication scholar exploring critical issues in internationalizing higher education through an intercultural communication lens at Western University, Canada where she is the Director of the Teaching Support Centre, and holds an adjunct research professor appointment in the Centre for Research on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education at the Faculty of Education. 

Nanda’s work focuses on TA development, doctoral education, mentorship across cultures, and interculturalizing the curriculum. Her recent publications have explored disciplinary communication competence, the impact of International TA training programs, and the development of intercultural teaching competence.

She has facilitated workshops on graduate supervision and teaching across cultures at eleven universities, including UBC, SFU, and York University; as well as the meetings of provincial and national associations of Graduate Studies (CAGS; OCGS and NEAGS).  Outside Canada, she has facilitated teaching workshops at universities in Switzerland, and Hong Kong.

For a list of her publications, please go to:

For all inquiries, please contact the Centre for Learning and Teaching at or 902-494-1622.