#Culture Shock – Chinese and British Students

Students Talk About Culture Shock

Groups of college students talk about the differences they see between China and England. This film is about 4:30 minutes long.

Topics discussed include differences in food, expected classroom behavior and how people treat and interact with their pets.

The interviews are in the “man on the street” style, typically pairs of young women talking.

Spoiler alert – the Chinese students interviewed do not like fish and chips. They also think that many of the behaviors seen in England’s classrooms were more interactive, a plus, but less respectful.

Other topics covered including dating and partying.

Video courtesy Keith Anderson.


Eye Contact Norms

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Eye Contact

One of the most common complaints when cultures collide is over eye contact. In the mainstream North American culture, direct and sustained eye contact conveys interest, respect, and even friendliness. Speakers are expected to look one another directly in the eyes while they talk and only occasionally glance away.

Other cultures, in Latin America and Asia, treat eye contact quite differently. Young people are expected to defer to their elders with averted eyes, and direct eye contact can convey disrespect or even overt aggression.

Think of the problems this can create if the speakers are unaware of this difference. A teacher, potential employer or new in-laws can find be offended–sometimes without even knowing why–when the wrong manner of eye contact is applied.

Has this ever happened to you? If so, when and where? Were you able to overcome the misunderstanding, or did it create barriers that were hard to pull down? I’d love to be able to hear specific examples.



B-Fit Bucharest 2016


Saw this on Facebook and was amazed. Here’s a link to some cool street scenes. Romania has set a goal to become the arts center of Europe by 2021. The B-Fit festival began in 2007, and is an eye-popping affair. Check it out.

What have you found to be your most memorably encounter with art in public places? Bonus points for art that opened doors for cultural experiences.

Welcome To Intercultural101 – Intercultural Communication

photo of neon sign saying free smells posted in intercultural101.com

Intercultural Communication

Hello all.

Welcome to our site, a collaborative effort to share life experiences and teaching materials to promote an the challenges and opportunities that come from living in our inter-connected, global community.

We’ll be adding material and features as we go, so do check back. Suggestions and feedback are welcome. Please post comments or email us at readermail @ intercultural101.com. (Please remove the spaces).

Normally, we’d say come and get a “taste” of another country’s culture. But, think about it, smells are an important trigger of memory.

To begin our discussion, let’s ponder this: What are the most powerful smells that trigger memories of a place away from home?