Tag Archives for " intercultural communication "

Superstitions: Our Strange Beliefs

four leaf clover in glass of water

We often find ourselves stopping while we are talking to an exchange student in our group and asking, “do you know what I mean by what I just said? When I say “knocking on wood,” does that mean anything to you?” It’s really easy to just use terms like that and continue on with whatever […]

Getting Ready for the New Exchange Year: What If We Don’t Like Each Other?

I read this statement recently in a blog post: On August 12, 2016, I arrived in California. I still remember when I got off the plane, seeing unfamiliar faces holding a sign that has my name on it. I was nervous and terrified that they wouldn’t like me; I thought it would feel awkward to live with a family that […]

Time and Language: Can You See the Future?

old fashioned pocket watch showing watch insides

We recently watched the 2016 movie Arrival, which critics are calling one of the best science fiction movies in decades. We enjoyed it as a film that tries to envision how our planet’s politics might play into first contact with alien visitors. We also liked how the movie focused on how language intersects with culture. […]

I’m an Exchange Student Headed for the U.S. — What Do I Need to Know?

Students will sometimes ask us this question: what’s the most important thing to know about the United States? To some extent, the answer to this question will differ depending on where in the U.S. a student ends up living and studying. The United States is a big country, and there are definite regional differences. This […]

An Exchange Student Wedding

My wife, Jenn, and I spent this past Saturday at the marriage of my former exchange student, Nha, from Vietnam. Nha spent the 2003-04 school year with my family through EF High School Exchange Year. She returned to the U.S. to go to college and recently started working at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU). It […]

What’s More Important, Our Differences or Our Similarities?

I found myself agreeing with an article I read this morning and thought it was worth a quick share on this Friday afternoon. We work hard in our role as exchange coordinators to get our students to recognize differences between their home country’s culture and their host culture here in Oregon and the United States. […]

Living Abroad (or Living With Someone Who is Living Abroad): Importance of Communication Never Ends

Or . . . Will Opportunities for Miscommunication Never End? Just a small thing I thought I would share today …. a reminder that the importance of asking questions in the cause of effective communication never goes away. A small thing, which will take longer in the telling than in the 30 seconds it took […]

Thoughts on Coconuts, Peaches, and Intercultural Communication

I came across an article that I thought might resonate with readers of my blog. It’s specific to German and American cultural differences, but the general point it makes can apply to any culture: many of our stereotypes about each other come from differences in how we communicate.  We can’t make too many generalizations — […]

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