Cross Cultural Understanding And What It Means

 In Study Abroad 101

When studying aboard, all students want to make friends, although studies have shown that people who make cross cultural understandingfriends with people from different cultures may find it hard to maintain the friendship because of unfamiliar cross cultural understanding. It also suggested that making a friend cross culturally isn’t easier if you’re a student and won’t be easier after graduation.

So why are mono cultural friendships different from cross culture friendship? This is now becoming an interesting question these days and not just for those who are thrilled to become friends with international students but to all students who find more and more multicultural people coming on campus. Many students also wonder what skills are needed to promote and develop healthy cross cultural friendships.

To answer these questions we first need to look at three different aspects that are important when it comes to cross cultural friendships. The most important part is acknowledging cultural differences.

Identify – You must first acknowledge the persons individual identity. This means you understand that the personal is from a different country and will have different ideals than what you do. You have to understand that their identity is linked to their family, community, and country. These things give that person a sense of identity and by understanding this you can create a positive start to a friendship.

Values – Another thing to realise is that different values are what make people different. Actions are determined by personal satisfaction and self-interests. It can also be caused by duty or obligations. Accept that everyone around you has different values to your own and know that this doesn’t make that person any less of an individual than what you are.

Family Obligations and Expectations – Many students have expectations and obligations that they must meet with their family and that disappointing their family may mean shame will be cast upon them. They may also have financial obligations that they have to keep to their family members. In knowing this you can understand why a person acts the way they do and why their drive is different to yours.

Overall to help become friends with international students and those around you. You have to fully accept that they have grown up different to what you have and will have different opinions. By accepting people for who they are you can definitely bridge the friendship gap.


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