Essay about Graduation Speech : Intercultural Communication

Essay about Graduation Speech : Intercultural Communication

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  I wasn 't quite sure what I was getting into when I first enrolled in Intercultural Communications. I had assumptions as to the goals of the course such as I would be learning about the way cultures interact with each other, learn about communication in general, or I would be learning about the ways we use communication through our culture. I think that I achieve the latter goal, but I also gained knowledge about more then just my culture. I came to realize that there is more to a culture than just language, appearances, and customs, which are aspects of culture that could be seen above the waterline, or they are more noticeable/obvious to someone outside of that culture. There are aspects of culture that are below the waterline, or more hidden from the people who make up the outgroup of a culture. I also realized that it is easy to be culturally incompetent if someone doesn 't know about the below the waterline of a culture. Some of the topics that we have discussed throughout the course that I have found interesting would include the concept of face, the (many) nonverbal and verbal codes and messages in intercultural communication, and the cultural taxonomies.
  When we first started discussing the concept of face, I thought of it as respect. Everyone in a culture wants to feel valued and respected by others. I thought that is made sense given that no human being wants to be mistreated, and devalued by others. I now see face as being a little more than that. I came to this conclusion for the obvious reason that there are types of faces, that I didn 't really feel like we when in depth with. I think the type that we focused on the most was the control face. I see this type of face as showing the respect by keeping each other '...


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...e power distance when my family and I traveled to Africa. My father gained more status, and power then he does here in the states. Although I can now identify power distance, I didn 't know that there was a title, or that power distance occurs in other cultures. I 'm not sure how I was familiar with individualism vs collectivism. I learned how individualistic my American culture is, and the collectivistic made sense as an opposite. I guess I have learned about collectivism without being able to identify it.
  There are other topics in this course that we have discussed that I am not confident in, but I have learned many things as well. I have enjoyed learning about cultures, and I have gained more appreciation, and competence regarding cultures that are different from my own. This course will aid me in my desire to go overseas as a missionary sometime in the future.

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