Since my first Spanish class in middle school, I have been fascinated with languages. There are over 6000 languages in the world, and one third of those languages are spoken by only 1000 people or less. I am captivated with the idea of being able to communicate with people from all around the world. This love for languages has led to me to study Spanish and International Business at the University of Nevada, Reno. While speaking another language is important, I have learned that it is only one small hurdle to overcome when traveling or doing business.
My passion for traveling and Spanish led to Alicante, Spain where I studied abroad from January 2011 to June 2011. I had first hand experience with culture shock from living in a foreign country and trying to assimilate to the Spanish culture. Anyone that has traveled knows that culture shock is difficult to overcome. While I spoke the language fairly well, it does not help when me when it came to the different customs and cultural norms.
Before any sort of traveling, be it business or pleasure, it is smart to understand the culture. Having knowledge of the culture will help with communication, assimilation and culture shock. Even if you do not have travel plans in the near future, cultural awareness can help communication with anyone traveling or doing business in the United States. To me, learning about different cultures is fascinating because it gives you a sense of how different people from all around the world live.
Sadly, American’s have gotten the reputation of being loud, rude and ethnocentric when traveling abroad. I want to change this reputation so that travelers and business professionals are enlightened and open to new experiences. Each post will focus on a different culture and explore the language, food, customs, business etiquette and many more fun facts. Join me on this exciting journey to raise cultural awareness!