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Intercultural Communication: How AFS Thailand Manage and Minimize Cultural Problems Using Communication Strategies

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About AFS Thailand
AFS Thailand or American Field Service Thailand was established in 1962. It is an organization that gives scholarships to Thai students for one year’s study abroad but mostly in America. The organization accepts foreign students, mostly from America to stay in Thailand as well.
In 1970, AFS Thailand became an international organization and the number of its member (AFSers) has been dramatically increased. Nowadays, AFS Thailand has over 200,000 students participated in the program and the number is continue to grow.

How is this related to the practice of communication management?
It is crucial for AFS Thailand to equip their students with cultural knowledge to avoid cultural problem that they might encounter during their stay. With 98 years of experience, AFS knows that most of those cultural problems caused by miscommunication and cultural differences. Hence, the knowledge of “intercultural communication” is to be provided during the AFS orientation for every soon-to-be exchange students. For example, culture shock is one the first challenges for every exchange student upon their arrival in another country. Delia Flanja, a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy mentions that “Culture shock is the state of discomfort experienced by the intercultural traveler, in a more or less profound way, once he or she is placed in an unfamiliar environment” (Flanja, 2009).

What research have you been able to uncover?
Delia Flanja defined “intercultural communication” as the way to imply an intercultural knowledge. She also mentioned that nowadays the numbers of people come into our contact are enlarging. Therefore, we need to develop the certain way of communication so that we can respond them effectively (Flanja, 2009)...


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...to send the message of intercultural communication in the entertain ways. However, the messages are very memorable, meaningful and creative using comedy films and role plays.



Reference:
Alicia Mendez. (2009). Culture shock, Language barriers and Academic acheivement. A study of foreign exchange, 29.
Carol Briam. (2010). USING A COMEDY FILM TO TEACH INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION. Business Communication Quarterly, 383.
Delia Flanja. (2009). Culture Shock In Intercultural Communication, 107.
Patrick C. Hughesb, John R. Baldwina, Janet Blue Suraj Kapoora. (2003). The relationship of individualism–collectivism and self-construals to communication styles in India and the United States. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 683.
Yu Xu. (2005). When Asian Students and American Faculty Converge. Intercultural Communication in Nursing Education, 212.



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