Would you take a road trip to a new city without a map or directions to know where you are heading?
Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States
Welcome to the Intercultural Blog Carnival, brought to you by English and Culture! We have gathered eight outstanding articles from some of the best professionals in the intercultural field. These articles offer guidance, entertainment and inspiration for your adjustment to life in a new culture. Have you recently moved to the United States or another foreign country for work or education? Are you looking for tips on how you can feel comfortable in your new home, meet new people and understand the new culture? If so, this is the place for you!
What does it take to relocate successfully from your home country to the United States?
In what ways do you put limits on your life as an expat in the US?
What risks have you taken in the last three months as an expatriate? How could your life in the United States be different if you took more risks? Would you learn more? Meet more people? Would you get closer to your goals of speaking English fluently? Would you have new career opportunities? I bet you would! I am not an expert on risk-taking and I won't pretend to be an expert. However, I know a few things about crossing cultures and lately I have been thinking more and more about how important risk-taking is for our success while we are living in a new country. So, I teamed up with Norman at Everyday Expat Support Center to bring you a webinar on how to take more risks as an expat! The webinar was held on Wednesday May 16th but you can still get a recorded version! Keep reading for more details.
What does it take to build a successful career? What would you give up to have a career that really fulfills you? In the United States, we say, "Follow your passion, do what makes you happy and forget what other people say." But does this advice make sense in non-western cultures where one's commitment to the family or the group means more than his individual place in society? This week I watched a TEDx presentation by Larry Smith, a well-known Canadian professor and thought leader in the fields of Economics and Entrepreneurship. Larry talked about the many excuses that people give for not seeking out their passion and or for finding their passion but continuing to work at an unfulfilling job because it is safe or it provides stability for their family. At one point in the talk, Larry asked, "Why would you seek refuge in human relationships as an excuse not to find and pursue your passion?" In Western countries, many people tend to agree with this message. I wonder how his point would come across in other cultures around the world?
Topics: Cross Cultural Coaching
If you are living and working in the United States with American colleagues, you might want to learn more about your own cultural values and the cultural values that determine the way that your American colleagues communicate and view the world. How would you answer this question:
In today's post, we have some communication and culture tips from a current student at English and Culture. Consider this question: How are disagreements resolved in your culture? Is it done differently in your country than here in the United States? During a recent cultural training session with one of our students from Korea, we looked at the different styles of settling a disagreement in both the US and Korea. We also talked about how those different styles of disagreement might be rooted in deeper cultural values and styles of communication. Keep reading to find out this student's views on the different approaches to resolving a disagreement in the US and Korea.
So you are living and working in the United States. What cultural assumptions do you have about American people or about your colleagues from other parts of the world? I have spoken with many international professionals who are working in the US and abroad and the most common thing that I hear from people is "well, I don't really notice too many differences. Basically, we are all the same" Really? We all have the same worldview? The same communication style? The same orientation toward time? I strongly disagree! Perhaps this assumption is our first problem. We often don't see that there are differences. If we are really all the same, why do business deals fall apart between North Americans and Latin Americans when the assumptions about time and scheduling differ. Why do Americans interpet "it will be difficult" as "yes we can do that" when it actually means "no, it's not possible" in Japan.
Intercultural communication (communication between people from different cultures) is now taking place all over the world, especially in large cities like Boston and New York. We are encountering people with different ways of communicating in every area of our lives including our careers and the business world, our social lives and in our academic courses. This is an exciting moment but do you sometimes feel confused or lost in these encounters? For example, did you ever wonder why your colleague said "yes, I will try " when he really meant "no, absolutely not"? Culture is more complex than we realize! To be successful in intercultural communication, we need some knowledge and skills. What do we need to successfully communicate with a friend, colleague or acquaintance from another culture? In this article, I will talk about 6 things you can do to improve your cultural competence and become a better intercultural communicator.