Yes, we actually do/did that. Since Wednesday we've been on a retreat in Bailey's Harbor with WIPCCC, a professional organization that we belong to. Now, not being from Wisconsin, I didn't truly get what the whole big deal was with going "up north". It seemed to me that being in Wisconsin was quite clearly up north to begin with. It's pretty nice though I must say.
Meeting with our colleagues from the other private colleges in Wisconsin is always a good experience. Being able to share our experiences and ideas with others from similar institutions gives us a chance to grow professionally. Sometimes you can get so accustomed to the way things are always done in your workplace that you forget about other approaches; this is a good time to refresh your brain.
One topic we looked at in-depth was how to provide better counseling service to all by adapting for cultural differences. This doesn't just mean ethnic differences either. One of the cases we addressed revolved around an older person in an unskilled position that may be facing a layoff after 35+ years on the job. I think working on these skills will be able to help us help all of you. We already attempt to provide the best service that we possibly can, but just like anyone else, we can always get better. It might be in a situation working with an international student, or it could be working with a student trying to meet parental expectations. Either way, through attending seminars and other professional development opportunities such as this gives us the opportunity to become better at what we do, and really, isn't that the goal of everyone in their job?