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What we will consider:
Understanding cross-cultural dynamics Preparing for my cross-cultural experience Surviving Culture Shock Making the most of my cross-cultural experience Practical considerations in going to America
Every country has its own way of saying things. The important point is that which lies behind people’s words. – Freya Stark (The Journey’s Echo)
What is “culture”?
“An integrated system of learned behavior patterns that are characteristic of the members of a society – language, manners, values, beliefs, morals, customs, religion, art, humor.” “Culture is the way of life that is shared by the members of a society.”
by Craig Storti. SEA-Southeast Asia.Cultural Differences Following charts adapted from Figuring Foreigners Out – A Practical Guide . M-Mexico. C-China F-France. J-Japan. Concept of “Self” Individualist Collectivist Codes: A-Africa. ME-Middle East R-Russia. G-Germany. S-Spain. UK-United Kingdom. I-India. US-United States .
UK-United Kingdom. J-Japan. G-Germany. I-India. ME-Middle East R-Russia. C-China F-France. US-United States .Cultural Differences Personal Responsibility Universalist Particularist Codes: A-Africa. S-Spain. SEA-Southeast Asia. M-Mexico.
US-United States . C-China F-France. SEA-Southeast Asia. ME-Middle East R-Russia. UK-United Kingdom. G-Germany.Cultural Differences Objective/Subjective Head Logic Heart Logic Codes: A-Africa. J-Japan. S-Spain. I-India. M-Mexico.
C-China F-France. ME-Middle East R-Russia. US-United States . UK-United Kingdom.Cultural Differences Degree of Directness Direct Indirect Codes: A-Africa. SEA-Southeast Asia. I-India. J-Japan. M-Mexico. S-Spain. G-Germany.
US-United States . SEA-Southeast Asia. G-Germany. S-Spain. I-India.Cultural Differences Importance of “Saving Face” Less important More important Codes: A-Africa. M-Mexico. UK-United Kingdom. C-China F-France. J-Japan. ME-Middle East R-Russia.
ME-Middle East R-Russia. G-Germany. SEA-Southeast Asia. UK-United Kingdom. US-United States . J-Japan.Cultural Differences Role of “Context” High context Low context Codes: A-Africa. I-India. C-China F-France. M-Mexico. S-Spain.
. minimize the negatives.” Anticipate: What do I expect to learn from this experience? What will I miss most about home? What values will be most different? What might be my biggest challenges? “To gain a friend. Focus on the positives.Preparing to cross cultures: “Your best defense is a strong offense. you must be a friend.” Participate: How will you need to step out of your comfort zone? Don’t wait – initiate. Don’t assume – ask.
gradual change Event orientation Arranged marriages Hierarchical structures .Understanding the differences: American Values: Nuclear family Individualism Written language Mobility (options) Materialism Progress and change Time orientation Romantic love Egalitarian structures Non-Western Values: Extended family Collectivism (group) Legends and stories Permanence (security) Relationships Stability.
Understanding the differences: American Values: Free market Youth and strength Directness Achievement Competition Sacred-secular divide Hypothetical reasoning Distrust of authority Privacy Personal control of future Non-Western Values: Strategic alliances Age and wisdom Indirectness Relationships Equality Sacred-secular integration Concrete reasoning Submission to authority Socialization Fate predetermination .
Surviving “Culture Shock” .
The “shock” can also refer to the accumulation of these feelings so that one feels overwhelmed.Culture Shock: The negative feelings experienced while adjusting to life in a culture different from one’s own. Initially: new culture seems the same Later: new culture feels totally different .
Culture Shock: 5 Stages of Culture Shock: The The The The The “adventure” stage “disappointment” stage “adjustment” stage “identity” stage “integration” stage .
Stages of Culture Shock Adventure stage (0-3mo) Emotional State Normal range Identity stage Integration stage Adjustment stage Disappointment stage (3-6mo) Time .
Symptoms of culture shock: Homesickness Withdrawal Apathy Frustration Grief Confusion Sleep disorders Eating disorders Rejection Powerlessness Depression Critical attitude Indignation Hostility Physical illness .
Causes of culture shock: Lack of familiar culture cues Ambiguous living or working situations Different or clashing cultural values New rules and expectations Lack of supportive relationships Inability to communicate in the language of the heart .
Treatment for culture shock: Stay flexible – give it time! Be an explorer (learn about your new environment) Look for logical reasons Don’t become critical/negative Find a “culture guide” Have confidence in yourself .
) • Medical treatment needs A taste of home! . etc.New culture “entry” needs… Physical needs: Sense of “security” Physical well-being (exercise and activity) Health care: • Basic health needs (drinking water.
New culture “entry” needs… Academic needs: Knowing how to navigate the campus Knowing how the system “works” Knowing where to find resources Knowing where to get help Maintaining balanced priorities .
New culture “entry” needs… Emotional needs: New friendships Help in coping with the new culture Experiencing “belonging” (“family”) Being able to trust someone A secure environment to share struggles .
etc.) Food. etc. Personal banking . water. etc.New culture “entry” needs… Practical needs: Orientation to the area Transportation options Living options (leases.) Where/how to shop Public services (restrooms. utilities.
Practical Considerations in coming to the U.S. .
Adjusting to the climate: .
Where to live? On Campus: Dormitory Advantages Close to or on campus No need to buy food or cook meals No need to buy furniture or appliances Disadvantages Potential for major conflicts with roommates Noisy Most food served is American food Students must move out between semesters .
washing dishes and cleaning the apartment . cooking.Where to live? Off Campus: Apartment Advantages Live with roommates you like Don’t have to move out between semesters Can use a kitchen to cook your own food Usually quieter than dorms Disadvantages Must sign a lease agreement (usually for one year) Might be far from campus Probably will have to get some furniture Have to spend more time shopping.
get medical care before you leave home Take extra eyeglasses with you Take medicines with you Buy Health Insurance Health insurance is available from your university Compare policies: low cost = high deductible = high risk .Health Care: Health Care in America is Expensive So… Try to avoid seeing doctors in America Don’t go to an American hospital If possible.
Health Insurance Cards: .
Transportation: Buying a Car Advantages Live anywhere you like No need to depend on public transportation Travel around America during holidays Disadvantages Must have a driver’s license Need to find a parking space Owning a car is expensive (> US$300/month) • Initial cost of buying the car • Pay for liability insurance • Pay for gasoline. oil changes and other maintenance • Pay state license fees Have to sell it when you leave .
American taxis are expensive! Conclusion: Whether you need a car or not depends on your location.Transportation: Public Transportation Advantages Saves a lot of time and money No need to get a driver’s license Disadvantages Must live near bus routes or other transit lines Makes shopping difficult Bus schedules may not match your schedule Not practical in most American cities Note: Use the bus. .
Apply for Social Security Card 3. Buy a Car 4. Take Driving Lessons 6.Take Written Test . Card .D. Apply for Driver’s License .Take Driving Test Don’t need to drive: 1. International Driver’s License 2.Do I need to drive? Need to Drive: 1. Apply for Social Security Card 2. Apply for Liability Insurance (depends on which state you are in) 5. Apply for Photo I.
Identity Cards: Driver’s License Required before you can: Drive or buy a car Write checks in a retail store Use a credit card in a retail store Apply at the State Department of Motor Vehicles Apply for Learner’s Permit or use your international driver’s license Take driving lessons from a driving school Apply for car insurance Alternative: Photo ID Card .
International Passport: .
Social Security Card: Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer ID Number (ITIN) .
voice mail. US$40/mo for a basic plan) Phone system – only tri-band GSM phones will work in USA Usage – free minutes include calls you make and calls you receive Know the plan – how many “free” minutes a month. when does night and weekend begin and end? . Caller ID. special longdistance services Cell Phone: More expensive (est.Telephone: Home Phone: Features – call waiting. call forwarding. and many other features International Calls – phone cards. internet phone.
Electric Heat – electric, gas or oil Garbage Water & Sewer Telephone Internet
Most schools and public libraries have internet service At Home Dial-up option High speed options will depend on where you live.
Money & Banking
00 1 cent = 1 ¢ = $0.American Money – Coins: Penny 1¢ Nickel 5¢ Dime 10¢ Quarter 25¢ Dollar coins $ 1.01 1 dollar = $1.00 = 100 ¢ = 100 cents .
American Money – Currency: $1. $10. $20. $50 and $100 bills ($2 rare) . $5.
Banking: Savings Account – for saving money and earning interest Most savings accounts are statement (not passbook) accounts Checking Account – for writing checks .
Banking terms: Deposit – add money to an account Withdraw – take money out of an account ATM card. Debit Card or Check Card – used to get money from an account via an ATM PIN – Personal Identification Number Minimum Balance – the smallest amount of money that you need to keep in an account to avoid service fees .
: Bounced Check –a check returned due to insufficient funds Service fees – money a bank charges for certain transactions or services performed Statement – a report the bank sends regularly giving information regarding transactions .Banking terms – cont.
“Who do I make the check out to?” Date – It is important that you use today’s date. The numbers go in the box and the words go on the line Memo – This is a line that you can use to make a note so you can remember what the check was for in the future Signature line – This is where you sign your name just like you signed it at the bank when you opened the account Account Routing Numbers – At the bottom of the check there are numbers that are routing numbers for the bank and the account number. Note the name needs to be correct so you might want to ask. If you postdate it (use a future date).Check components: Check Number – This is a sequential number that identifies which check it is Payee – the name of the person that you are writing the check out to. the person cannot cash the check until that date Amount – The amount is written both in numbers and in words. You will not need to use these numbers .
.Writing a check: In America checks are not post dated – make it for today’s date.
Shopping & Eating Out .
Where to shop: • Supermarkets • Grocery stores • Discount Stores (Wal-Mart. Target. K-Mart) • Department Stores • Specialty Stores • Online .
Eating Out: Americans typically don’t share their meal – unless it’s with family (or girlfriend☺) It is expected to “tip” the waiter/waitress 15-20% of the cost of the meal (also called “gratuity”) What is “going Dutch?” .
Making friends with Americans .
self-reliance and individualism Privacy Extreme diversity Unconcern about other people’s opinions Grown children live separately from parents Competition in all parts of society High value placed on individual achievement Direct communication and honesty valued over harmony Emphasis on “talking” over non-verbal communication Respect for science and numbers (“facts”) Most are interested in sports and entertainment .American values: Independence.
etc. thanks. How about you?” Usually don’t ask personal questions when they first meet someone: Avoid: age. health. entertainment (music. weather. marriage.American culture “givens”: Often greet each other with: “How’s it going?” “Pretty good. hobbies. school. income. politics Safe topics: work. movies.) Usually avoid direct “Why do you…?” questions Usually don’t touch people when talking to them . sports.
American culture “givens”: Do not “cut in line” when there is a cue (offensive) Value being on time for appointments (not more than 10 minutes late) Typically don’t call (families or elders) after 9:30 pm Smoking in buildings is typically not permitted (designated smoking areas outdoors) Wear shoes indoors when visiting homes Normally go “Dutch” (pay for your own) at restaurants .
Making friends with Americans: Making friends on campus: Try to make friends with American students who have lived in other countries—they will understand your situation better Get involved in team sports Live in the international or graduate student dormitory Making friends off campus: Some organizations offer friendship opportunities with American families in the community (such as ISI) .
Success in the Classroom .
Tips for success: Read assignments before class Try to understand the subject matter before going to class Check your notes with other students’ notes after class Class participation (often part of the grade) Ask questions in class Participate in small group discussions Turn in assignments on time .
Expressing your opinion in class: I believe … I think … I feel … I assume … I suppose … I suggest … It seems to me that … In my opinion … .
but … You may be right. but … . but … I don’t quite agree. but … That may be. but … I agree. What about …? You have a point.Disagreeing in class: Yes. but … I see your point.
Where to buy textbooks: On-campus bookstore Off-campus bookstore http://www.campusbooks.com/ http://www.directtextbook.com/ http://www.classbook.co – used textbooks .half.com/ http://www.
American Festivals & Holidays .
. 1776.Independence Day Also known as the “4th of July.” celebrates when the thirteen American colonies declared their independence from England on July 4.
Although it started as a religious holiday. . many Americans know little about the beginning of Thanksgiving. It was originally established to reflect on and thank God for his blessings.Thanksgiving Day Thanksgiving is the oldest traditional American holiday.
As in many parts of the world.Christmas Christmas became a national holiday in the U. . It is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.S. in 1890. a very important part of the American Christmas tradition is giving gifts to each other.
New Year’s Day In American culture. This celebration generally includes: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) New Year’s Eve parties Shooting off fireworks American football “bowl” games New Year’s Day parades New Year’s resolutions . New Year’s Day is observed on the first day of the Roman calendar year (January 1).
It is a festival celebrating romance and love. which was adopted by the Christian church from ancient Greek and Roman culture.Valentine’s Day Valentine’s Day always falls on February 14. .
Today. the traditional “Easter vacation” (time off from school) has been replaced by “Spring Break.” .Easter Easter is the Christian holiday that celebrates Jesus Christ coming back to life after he was crucified.
After playing a prank on someone it is customary to follow it up with the statement “April Fool’s!” . and is not an official holiday or festival. It is traditional to play tricks or pranks on one’s family and friends on this day.April Fool’s Day April Fool’s Day is observed every year on April 1.
It is a special day to remember and honor all those who have or are serving in the United States armed forces. Memorial Day celebrations often include parades and fireworks.Memorial Day Memorial Day is a patriotic holiday that occurs on May 30th. . but is observed on the last Monday of May each year.
or to picnic at their favorite park. Today it is observed on the first Monday of September. with schools taking the day off and many families traveling to visit friends or relatives. .Labor Day Labor Day was established in the 1700’s to give factory workers a break from their hard labor.
Usually everyone who comes to a birthday party brings a gift and a birthday card for the birthday person. .Birthdays As in many parts of the world. Some birthday celebrations only include family. Others are more elaborate and invitations are sent out to many friends. birthdays are a great time of celebration among Americans.
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Airport transportation upon arrival: .
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