Culture Shock

In Uncategorized on January 21, 2011 at 5:25 am

Day Three of classes was fun, each day we have a different professor and today we had a really cool Russian lady who was just delightful. Our study topic today was to do with cultural differences and how to accommodate them. A large portion of the discussion centered around the international students adjusting to the ways of the United States. As much as things are different here for us Canadians, it’s definitely not as much of a cultural shock as it is for the students from other countries. In my group of 24 students there are students from Spain, France, Morocco, India, Japan, China, as well as us from Canada. I learned so much today about cultural differences between us and the students from these countries. For the most part, we behave very similar to Americans, but some of the customs from the other countries are completely foreign. Even things like hand gestures vary in meaning from country to country. The students from India and Morocco tend to be very close talkers, and as soon as you meet them they want to hug you and are very touchy. I always thought that we were touchy in Canada but not nearly the same as they are in some other cultures. And then on the opposite spectrum there’s the students from Japan and China who keep huge distance from other people and are much more reserved.

As students and future managers, we need to be aware of these cultural differences and take them into account in our interactions with both guests and our co-workers. Even when it comes to food! I didn’t realize that in China they still eat cats and dogs, not in a weird way, they actually breed dogs just for eating like we do with cattle. And then in India cows are sacred and they don’t eat them. There’s so much to consider when working internationally. I love it!! It’s so interesting to learn about how everyone else does things. Even the way you hand someone a business card. The Chinese and Japanese give and receive cards using two hands, very formally, whereas the French and North Americans are much more casual about it. I can’t wait to learn even more about all my new friends!!

Oh, and in other news I think it might be pledge week here at UCR, Linds and I went to the campus store today and while walking through the campus (which is STUNNING, by the way), there were a bunch of booths and massive Greek letters all over the main lawn area. I took some pictures. I think it’d be so cool to go to an American university and be in a sorority!! I also just LOVE how dedicated they are to their sports. They really have a huge sense of loyalty to their school and the sports teams. I just love it. And speaking of which, the campus store is unreal!! The plethora of UCR clothing and golf bags and golf balls and cheerleader skirts and towels and sweatpants and pajamas and…..well you get the picture. Of course we had to get a few things!! Just a few because I can guarantee you we’ll need some Disney stuff once we get there. I also got a few fun things for my parents to send home because they are awesome and deserve a reward for all the support they’ve given me!

This is part of the center area of the main UCR campus

This is why I think it might be pledge week. There’s Greek letters everywhere!!

On the left is Cinthia from Paris, right is Andrea from Madrid!

These letters are just as massive as you think they are. Pretty cool!!

These are really neat banner things that are also in the quad.

Linds and I are having some quiet time, hiding in my room watching Grey’s Anatomy. It’s lovely. Even though we’ve only been here for 4 days, I feel like we’ve been here forever. It’s very strange. And wonderful. Life is good.

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