5 Benefits of Successful Intercultural Communication When Studying Abroad

Oct 11, 2022

Better cross-cultural communication inside and outside the classroom leads to better opportunities.

Imagine you are in the shoes of your study abroad students. You have just moved to a new country as part of your study abroad program and are beyond excited to explore your new life there. Just as you think you are getting comfortable, you are being catapulted into university life. The twist, though, is that it’s a completely new university, with new subjects, new professors, new course mates and a whole new set of rules on how you should behave.

There is enough to be worried about. We know a thing or two about that at CulturaGo. When students move abroad to a new country to study, they can feel very disoriented. Sure, universities offer orientation before the start of their programs, but these often end up covering the content of the courses and how to recycle (not to say this isn’t important as it most definitely is). What is usually missing is some training on how students should approach professors, and talk to them.

Some countries have very stiff and formal styles of student-professor interaction (Japan is an example of this), and the teaching staff can at times seem very detached from their students' lives. Writing something as simple as an email can become a source of stress that students have to go through on their own. Other countries like the UK, on the other hand, encourage a more friendly learning experience and expect students to actively contribute during lectures and seminars. 

Making friends abroad can be similarly challenging. When students are unprepared for their destination’s style of communication, they tend to go through their experience quite sheltered, and may find themselves gravitating toward other international students only. Their experience may be good, but they are overlooking so many opportunities to connect, network and build long-lasting relationships without even knowing.

5 Benefits of Successful Intercultural Communication

Being able to create meaningful connections in a cultural environment different from the one we grew up in is a precious ability that needs to be trained, and the benefits are many, both in the short and in the long term. Here are just 5 of them:

Being able to effectively communicate with their peers and teaching staff from a different cultural background allows students to succeed in their studies and build a stronger résumé.

Feeling isolated and unable to connect far from home can impact your overall well-being. Having a network of friends, peers and professors around can give students a sense of belonging and stability and help them overcome new challenges.

 

Diving into a different culture is not just a beautiful experience. It fosters personal growth, understanding and compassion, as students get to look at their own culture from an original point of view, setting them apart from their peers. 

Good human relationships are the foundation of any job, and these foundations start at university. When people around you see you as reliable and someone who understands how to work well even in a completely different cultural environment, they will want to engage with you again.

Intercultural communication and Cultural Intelligence (CQ) are incredibly valuable assets in the current global job market. The ability to adapt to others styles of communication and easily integrate into (or why not, lead) a diverse workforce is a progressively sought-after quality.

Communicate Better with CulturaGo

By preparing for different styles of communication in advance, learners are able to adjust smoothly as soon as they arrive at their destination. Once there, they can easily dive into their experience and get the most out of it for their future. 

CulturaGo is here to help with that. Our online cultural preparation courses are destination-specific, so learners only get the information that is most relevant to their experience. By partnering with CulturaGo, study abroad offices can provide their students with up-to-date content to learn from, including key tips, advice from subject experts who have established knowledge of each destination’s culture and experience living there, and first-hand testimonies collected from local and expat contributors.

No stress, no faux pas. Better communication for a better future.

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