Students from the Catholic University of Leuven share their experiences as foreigners in a country to show how cultural differences are not only a barrier, but also an interesting topic commonly shared among people. An open mind, respect for differences and a will to share are suggested to achieve a successful communicative experience.
(Spanish girl) I notice that they have different customs, or their way of being is different, maybe they are more closed or when they talk to each other in their language. Then, in the end, sometimes I feel a little uncomfortable because I don’t understand them or they are very different from my habits.
(German girl) To express your feeling because is often difficult to find the right words to explain what you mean and then you are not sure if the one that is next to you is understanding what do you mean.
(Chinese boy) The first barrier is the language. Due to the language and different cultural backgrounds, the memes and jokes in the communication are very different. That is, cultural background.
(Italian boy) We have very big differences in the accents.
(Chinese girl) Vocabulary, accents and religion, especially between people having religion and not having religion.
(American boy) Being open to like different cultures and different from us, which I think is the key factor.
(Iranian girl: To show that I have interest in their language and their culture. And that’s where the communication starts.
(Chinese girl) That is, being brave, being open, being tolerant and being impressed by others.
(American boy) Cultural differences between different countries.
(Chinese girl): Diet is one aspect. Travel is an aspect, like some features in their local country. Local customs and cultural habits.
In summary, cultural differences is not only the barrier, but also an interesting topic commonly shared among people.
An open mind, respecting differences and willing to share are suggested to achieve a successful communicating experience.
How to use this story in a classroom?
The authors of the video created didactical material (find it below) to start a constructive dialogue:
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